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^Eot- Prl^^ RICKS c0 . l ;, L ; E i < i E i 

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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand 
eight hundred and forty -nine, by 

Harper & Brothers, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District 
of New York. 

Copyright, 1876, by Jacob Abbott, 



Tke auth )r of this series has made it his spe- 
cial object to confine himself very strictly, even 
in the most minute details which he records, to 
historic truth. The narratives are not tales 
founded upon history, but history itself, without 
any embellishment or any deviations from the 
strict truth, so far as it can now be discovered 
by an attentive examination of the annals writ- 
ten at the time when the events themselves oc- 
curred. In writing the narratives, the author 
has endeavored to avail himself of the best 
sources of information which this country af- 
fords ; and though, of course, there must be in 
these volumes, as in all historical narratives, 
more or less of imperfection and error, there is 
no intentional embellishment. Nothing is stat- 
ed, not 3ven to most minute and apparently 

viii Pr 

E F A C E. 

imaginary details, without what was deemed 
good historical authority. The readers, there- 
fore, may rely upon the record as the truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so far as an honest pur- 
pose and a careful examination have been ef- 
fectual in ascertaining it. 


nt*at Baft 










1. SCIPIO 205 




map / 'onttsptece. 




crossing the marshes 161 

habdrubal's head 22? 

the burning of the carthaginian fleet.... 24'j 


Chapter L 
The First Punic War. 

Hannibal. Rome and Carthape 

HANNIBAL was a Carthaginian general 
He acquired his great distinction as a war< 
rior by his desperate contests with the Roman*. 
Rome and Carthage grew up together on oppo- 
site sides of the Mediterranean Sea. For about 
a hundred years they waged against each other 
most dreadful wars. There were three of these 
wars. Rome was successful in the end, and 
Carthage was entirely destroyed. 

There was no real cause for any disagreement 
between these two nations. Their hostility to 
each other was mere rivalry and spontaneous 
hate. They spoke a different language ; they 
had a different origin ; and they lived on oppo- 
site sides of the same sea. So they hated and 
devoured each other. 

Those who have read the history of Alexander 
the Great, in this series, will recollect the diffi- 

16 Hannibal. [B.C. 2W 

Numidia. Balearic lalea. The sling 

thage, on the African coast, were famous fo? 
their horsemen. There were great plains in 
Numidia, and good grazing, and it was, conse- 
quently, one of those countries in which horses 
and horsemen naturally thrive. On the other 
hand, the natives of the Balearic Isles, now oall- 
ed Majorca, Minorca, and Ivica, were famous 
for their skill as slingers. So the Carthagini- 
ans, in making up their forces, would hire bod- 
ies of cavalry in Numidia, and of slingers in tho 
Balearic Isles ; and, for reasons analogous, they 
got excellent infantry in Spain. 

The tendency of the various nations to adopt 
and cultivate different modes of warfare wa$ 
far greater, in those anoient times, than now. 
The Balearic Isles, in fact, received their name 
from the Greek word ballein, which means to 
throw with a sling. The youth there were 
trained to perfection in the use of this weapon 
from a very early age. It is said that mothers 
used to praotice the plan of putting the bread 
for their boys' breakfast on the branches of trees, 
high above their heads, and not allow them to 
have their food to eat until they could bring it 
down with a stone thrown from a sling. 

Thus the Carthaginian power became great- 
ly extended. The whole government, however 

B.C.280.] First Punio War. 1? 

The government of Carthage. The aristocracy. 

was exercised by a small body of wealthy and 
aristocratic families at home. It was very much 
such a government as that of England is at the 
present day, only the aristocracy of England ia 
based on ancient birth and landed property, 
whereas in Carthage it depended on commer- 
cial greatness, combined, it is true, with hered- 
itary family distinction. The aristocracy of 
Carthage controlled and governed every thing. 
None but its own sons could ordinarily obtain 
office or power. The great mass of inhabitants 
were kept in a state of servitude and vassalage. 
This state of things operated then, as it does 
now in England, very unjustly and hardly for 
those who were thus debased; but the result 
was — and in this respect the analogy with En- 
gland still holds good — that a very efficient and 
energetic government was created. The gov- 
ernment of an oligarchy makes sometimes a 
very rich and powerful state, but a discon- 
tented and unhappy people. 

Let the reader now turn to the map and find 
the place of Carthage upon it. Let him imag- 
ine a great and rich city there, with piers, and 
docks, and extensive warehouses for the com- 
merce, and temples, and public edifices of splen- 
did architecture, for the religious and civil serv- 

18 Hannibal. [B-C. 280 

Geographical relation* of the Carthaginian empire. 

ice of the state, and elegant mansions and pal- 
aces for the wealthy aristocracy, and walls and 
towers for the defense of the whole. Let hirn 
then imagine a back country, extending for 
some hundred miles into the interior of Africa, 
fertile and highly cultivated, producing great 
stores of corn, and wine, and rich fruits of every 
description. Let him taen look at the islands 
of Sicily, of Corsica, and Sardinia, and the Ba- 
leares, and conceive of them as rich and prosper- 
ous countries, and all under the Carthaginian 
rule. Look, also, at the coast of Spain ; see, in 
imagination, the city of Carthagena, with its 
fortifications, and its army, and the gold and 
silver mines, with thousands and thousands of 
slaves toiling in them. Imagine fleets of ships 
going continually along the shores of the Med- 
iterranean, from country to country, cruising 
back and forth to Tyre, to Cyprus, to Egypt, 
to Sicily, to Spain, carrying corn, and flax, and 
purple dyes, and spices, and perfumes, and pre- 
cious stones, and ropes and sails for ships, and 
gold and silver, and then periodically returning 
to Carthage, to add the profits they had made to 
the vast treasures of wealth already accumula- 
ted there. Let the reader imagine all this with 
the map before him, so as to have a distinct 

H.C.280.] First Punic War. 19 

Rome and tne Romans. j *r- ^/ Their character 

conception of the geographical relations of the 
localities, and he will have a pretty correct idea 
cf the Carthaginian power at the time it com- 
nenced its dreadful conflicts with Rome. 

Rome itself was very differently situated- 
Rome had been built by some wanderers from 
Troy, and it grew, for a long time, silently and 
slowly, by a sort of internal principle of life and 
energy. One region after another of the Italian 
peninsula was merged in the Roman state. 
They formed a population which was, in the 
main, stationary and agricultural. They tilled 
the fields ; they hunted the wild beasts ; they 
raised great flocks and herds. They seem to 
have been a race — a sort of variety of the human 
species — possessed of a very refined and superior 
or g— • '* n, which, in its development, gave 
rise to a character of firmness, energy, and force, 
both of body and mind, which has justly excited 
the admiration of mankind. The Carthaginians 
had sagacity — the Romans called it cunning— 
and activity, enterprise and wealth. Their ri« 
vals, on the other hand, were characterized by 
genius, courage, and strength, giving rise to a 
certain calm and indomitable resolution and en- 
ergy, which has since, in every age, been strong* 
ly associated, in the minds of men, with the very 

Word "Roman 

20 Hannibal. T3.C.2SO 

ProgreM of Carthage and Rome Origin of the first Punic war 

The progress of nations was much more slow 
in ancient days than now, and these two rival 
empires continued their gradual growth and ex 
tension, each on its own side of the great sea 
which divided them, for Jive hundred years, be- 
fore they came into collision. At last, however, 
the collision came. It originated in the follow- 
ing way : 

By looking at the map, the reader will see 
that the island of Sicily is separated from the 
main land by a narrow strait called the Strait 
of Messina. This strait derives its name from 
the town of Messina, which is situated upon it, 
on the Sicilian side. Opposite Messina, on the 
Italian side, there was a town named Rhegium. 
.JJtfow it happened that both these towns hacf 
been taken possession of by lawless bodies of 
soldiery. The Romans came and delivered Rhe- 
gium, and punished the soldiers who had seized 
it very severely. The Sicilian authorities ad- 
vanced to the deliverance of Messina. The 
troops there, finding themselves thus threaten- 
ed, sent to the Romans to say that if they, the 
Romans, would come and protect them, they 
would deliver Messina into their hands. 

The question, what answer to give to this ap 
plication, was brought before the Roman sen 

B.C. 280.] First Punic War. 21 

fflhegium and Messina. A perplexing question 

ate, and caused them great perplexity. It seem- 
ed very inconsistent to take sides with the reb- 
els of Messina, when they had punished so se. 
rerely those of Rhegium. Still the Romans had 
been, for a long time, becoming very jealous of 
the growth and extension of the Carthaginian 
power. Here was an opportunity of meeting 
and resisting it. The Sicilian authorities were 
about calling for direct aid from Carthage to 
recover the city, and the affair would probably 
result in establishing a large body of Carthagin- 
ian troops within sight of the Italian shore, 
and at a point where it would be easy for them 
to make hostile incursions into the Roman ter- 
ritories. In a word, it was a case of what is 
called political necessity ; that is to say, a case 
in which the interests of one of the parties in a 
contest were so strong that all considerations of 
justice, consistency, and honor are to be sacri- 
ficed to the promotion of them. Instances of 
this kind of political necessity occur very fre- 
quently in the management of public affairs in 
all ages of the world. 

The contest for Messina was, after all, how- 
ever, considered by the Romans merely as a pre- 
text, or rather as an occasion, for commencing 
the struggle which they had long been desirous 

22 Hannibal. [B.C. 280 

The Romans determine to build a fleet. Preparation* 

<>f entering upon. They evinced their charac- 
teristic energy and greatness in the plan which 
they adopted at the outset. They knew very 
well that the power of Carthage rested mainly 
on her command of ihe seas, and that they could 
not hope successfully to cope with her till they 
could meet and conquer her on her own element 
[n the mean time, however, they had not a sin- 
gle ship and not a single sailor, while the Med 
iterranean was covered with Carthaginian ships 
and seamen. Not at all daunted by this pro- 
digious inequality, the Romans resolved to be- 
gin at once the work of creating for themselves 
a naval power. 

The preparations consumed some time ; for 
the Romans had not only to build the ships, 
they had first to learn how to build them. They 
took their first lesson from a Carthaginian gal- 
ley which was cast away in a storm upon the 
coast of Italy. They seized this galley, collect- 
ed their carpenters to examine it, and set wood- 
men at work to fell trees and collect material* 
for imitating it. The carpenters studied theii 
model very carefully, mea%ured the dimensions 
of every part, and observed the manner in which 
the various parts were connected and secured 
together. The heavy shocks which vessels are 

B.C.259.J First Punic War. 23 

Training the oarsmen. The Roman fleet puts to sea. 

exposed to from the waves makes it necessary 
to secure great strength in the construction of 
them ; and, though the ships of the ancients 
wore very small and imperfect compared with 
the men-of-war of the present day, still it is sur- 
prising that the Romans could succeed at all in 
such a sudden and hasty attempt at building 

They did, however, succeed. While the ships 
were building, officers appointed for the purpose 
were training men, on shore, to the art of row- 
ing them. Benches, like the seats which the 
oarsman would occupy in the ships, were ar- 
ranged on the ground, and the intended seamen 
were drilled every day in the movements and 
action of rowers. The result was, that in a 
few months after the building of the ships was 
commenced, the Romans had a fleet of one hun- 
dred galleys of five banks of oars ready. They 
remained in harbor with them for some time, to 
give the oarsmen the opportunity to see wheth- 
er they could row on the water as weL as on the 
land, and then boldly put to sea to meet the 

There was one part of the arrangements made 
by the Romans in preparing their fleets which 
was strikingly characteristic of the determined 

24 Hannibal. [B C. 2ob 

Grappling Irons. Courage and resolution of the Romans 

resolution which marked all their conduct 
They constructed machines containing grap- 
pling irons, which they mounted on the prow? 
of their vessels. These engines were so con- 
trved, that the moment one of the ships con- 
taining them should encounter a vessel of the 
enemy, the grappling irons would fall upon the 
deck of the latter, and hold the two firmly to- 
gether, so as to prevent the possibility of either 
escaping from the otht>*. The idea that they 
themselves should have any wish to withdraw 
from the encounter seemed entirely out of the 
question. Their only fear was that the Cartha- 
ginian seamen would employ their superior skill 
and experience in naval maneuvers in making 
their escape. \. ankind have always regarded 
the action of the Romans, in this case, as one 
of the most striking examples of military cour- 
age and resolution which the history of war has 
ever recorded. An army of landsmen come 
down to the sea-shore, and, without scarcely 
having ever seen a ship, undertake to build a 
fleet, and go out to attack a power whjse na- 
vies covered the sea, and made her the sole and 
acknowledged mistress of it. They seize a 
wrecked galley of their enemies for their model; 
thev build a hundred vessels like it : they prao 

B.C.254.] First Punic War. 25 

Bucoe« of the Roman*. The rostral column, 

tice maneuvers for a short time in port; and 
then go forth to meet the fleets of their power 
ful enemy, with grappling machines to hold 
them, fearing nothing but the possibility of 
their escape. 

The result was as might have been expected. 
The Romans captured, sunk, destroyed, or dis- 
persed the Carthaginian fleet which was brought 
to oppose them. They took the prows of the 
ships which they captured and conveyed them 
to Rome, and built what is called a rostral pil- 
lar of them. A rostral pillar is a column orna- 
mented with such beaks or prows, which were, 
in the Roman language, called rostra. This col- 
umn was nearly destroyed by lightning about 
fifty years afterward, but it was repaired and 
rebuilt again, and it stood then for many cen- 
turies, a very striking and appropriate monu- 
ment of this extraordinary naval victory. The 
Roman commander in this case was the consul 
Dnilius. The rostral column was erected in 
honor of him. In digging among the ruins of 
Rome, there was found what was supposed to be 
the remains of this column, about three hun- 
dred years ago. 

The Romans now prepared to carry the war 
into Africa itself. Of course it was easv* aftei 

26 Hannibal. [B.C.254 

Government of Konw. The consul* 

their victory over the Carthaginian fleet, to trans- 
port troops across the sea to the Carthaginiai: 
shore. The Roman commonwealth was govern- 
ed at this time by a senate, who made the laws, 
and by two supreme executive officers, called 
consuls. They thought it was safer to have 
two chief magistrates than one, as each of the 
two would naturally be a check upon the other. 
The result was, however, that mutual jealousy 
involved them often in disputes and quarrels. It 
is thought better, in modern times, to have but 
one chief magistrate in the state, and to provide 
other modes to put a check upon any disposition 
he might evince to abuse his powers. 

The Roman consuls, in time of war, took com- 
mand of the armies. The name of the consul 
upon whom it devolved to carry on the war with 
the Carthaginians, after this first great victory, 
was Regulus, and his name has been celebrated 
in every age, on account of his extraordinary 
adventures in this campaign, and his untimely 
fate. How far the story is strictly true it is 
now impossible to ascertain, but the following 
is the story, as the Roman historians relate it : 

At the time when Regulus was elected con- 
sul he was a plain man, living simply on his 
farm, maintaining himself by his own industry, 

BC.254.J First Punic War. 27 

Story of Regains. He is made consul 

and evincing no ambition or pride. His fellow - 
oitizens, however, observed those qualities of 
mind in him which they were accustomed to ad- 
mire, and made him consul. He left the city 
and took command of the army. He enlarged 
the fleet to more than three hundred vessels. 
He put one hundred and forty thousand men on 
board, and sailed for Africa. One or two years 
had been spent in making these preparations, 
which time the Carthaginians had improved in 
building new ships ; so that, when the Romans 
set sail, and were moving along the coast of 
Sicily, they soon came in sight of a larger Car- 
thaginian fleet assembled to oppose them. Reg- 
ulus advanced to the contest. The Carthagin- 
ian fleet was beaten as before. The ships which 
were not captured or destroyed made their es- 
cape in all directions, and Regulus went on, 
without further opposition, and landed his forces 
on the Carthaginian shore. He encamped as 
soon as he landed, and sent back word to the 
Roman senate asking what was next to be done. 
The senate, considering that the great diffi- 
culty and danger, viz., that of repulsing the 
Carthaginian fleet, was now past, ordered Reg- 
alus to send home nearly all the ships and a 
rery large part y£ the army, and with the rest 

28 Hannibal. [B.C. 254 

Elegulus marches against Carthage Hub difficulties 

to commence his march toward Carthage. Reg 
alus obeyed : he sent home the troops which 
had been ordered home, and with the rest began 
to advance upon the city. 

Just at this time, however, news came out 
to him that the farmer who had had the care of 
his land at home had died, and that his little 
farm, on which rested his sole reliance for the 
support of his family, was going to ruin. Reg- 
ulus accordingly sent to the senate, asking 
them to place some one else in command of the 
army, and to allow him to resign his office, that 
he might go home and take care of his wife and 
children. The senate sent back orders that he 
should go on with his campaign, and promised 
to provide support for his family, and to see that 
some one was appointed to take care of his land. 
This story is thought to illustrate the extreme 
simplicity and plainness of all the habits of life 
among the Romans in those days. It certainly 
does so, if it is true. It is, however, very ex- 
traordinary, that a man who was intrusted, by 
suoh a commonwealth, with the command of a 
fleet of a hundred and thirty vessels, and an 
army of a hundred and forty thousand men, 
should have a family at home dependent for sub- 
jistenoe on the hired cultivation of seven acres 
nf land. Still, «noh is th story. 

B.C. 254.] First Punic War. 29 

8ucce«sea of Regulus. ArriTal of Greeks. The Roman* put to flight 

Regulus advanced toward Carthage, conquer- 
ing as he came. The Carthaginians were beat- 
en in one field after another, and were reduced, 
in fact, to the last extremity, when an occur- 
rence took place which turned the scale. This 
occurrence was the arrival of a large body of 
troops from Greece, with a Grecian general at 
their head. These were troops which the Car- 
thaginians had hired to fight for them, as was 
the case with the rest of their army. But these 
were Greeks, and the Greeks were of the same 
race, and possessed the same qualities, as the 
Romans. The newly-arrived Grecian general 
evinced at once such military superiority, that 
the Carthaginians gave him the supreme com- 
mand. He marshaled the army, accordingly, 
for battle. He had a hundred elephants in the 
van. They were trained to rush forward and 
trample down the enemy. He had the Greek 
phalanx in the center, which was a close, com- 
pact body of many thousand troops, bristling 
with long, iron-pointed spears, with which the 
men pressed forward, bearing every thing before 
thsm. Regulus was, in a word, ready to meet 
Carthaginians, but he was not prepared to en- 
counter Greeks. His army was put to flight, 
and he was taken prisoner. Nothing could ex 

30 Hannibal [B.C.254 

Regulus h prisoner. He is sent to Rome 

ceed the excitement and exultation in the city 
when they saw Regulus, and five hundred oth- 
01 Roman soldiers, brought captive in. A few 
days before, they had been in consternation at 
the imminent danger of his coming in as a ruth- 
less and vindictive conqueror. 

The Roman senate were not discouraged by 
this disaster. They fitted out new armies, and 
the war went on, Regulus being kept all the 
time at Carthage as a close prisoner. At last 
the Carthaginians authorized him to go to Rome 
as a sort of commissioner, to propose to the Ro- 
mans to exchange prisoners and to make peace. 
They exacted from him a solemn promise that 
if he was unsuccessful he would return. The 
Romans had taken many of the Carthaginians 
prisoners in their naval combats, and held them 
captive at Rome. It is customary, in such ca- 
ses, for the belligerent nations to make an ex- 
change, and restore the captives on both sides 
to their friends and home. It was such an ex* 
change of prisoners as this which Regulus was 
to propose. 

When Regulus reached Rome he refused to 
enter the cfty, but he appeared before the sen- 
ate without the walls, in a very humble garb 
and with the most subdued and unassuming de- 

B.C.249.] First Punic War. 31 

Regulus before the Roman senate. Regal* of his mlMiob 

meanor. He was no longer, he said, a Roman 
officer, or even citizen, but a Carthaginian pris- 
oner, and he disavowed all right to direct, o> 
even to counsel, the Roman authorities in re. 
ipect to the proper course to be pursued. His 
opinion was, however, he said, that the Romans 
ought not to make peace or to exchange prison- 
ers. He himself and the other Roman prison- 
ers were old and infirm, and not worth the ex 
change ; and, moreover, they had no claim 
whatever on their country, as they could only 
have been made prisoners in consequence of 
want of courage or patriotism to die in their 
country's cause. He said that the Carthagin- 
ians were tired of the war, and that their re- 
sources were exhausted, and that the Romans 
ought to press forward in it with renewed vigor, 
and leave himself and the other prisoners to 
their fate. 

The senate came very slowly and reluctantly 
to the conclusion to follow this advice. They, 
however, all earnestly joined in attempting to 
persuade Regulus that he was under no obliga- 
tion to return to Carthage. His promise, they 
said, was extorted by the circumstances of the 
oase, and was not binding. Regulus, however, 
insisted on keeping his faith with his enemies 



[B.C. 249 

Death of Regulu*. 

Conclusion of the war 

He sternly refused to see his family, and, bid- 
ding the senate farewell, he returned to Car- 
thage. The Carthaginians, exasperated at hi* 
having himself interposed to prevent the suc- 
cess of his mission, tortured him for some time 
in the most cruel manner, and finally put him 
to death. One would think that he ought to 
have counseled peace and an exchango of pris- 
oners, and he ought not to have refused to see his 
unhappy wife and children ; but it was certainly 
very noble in him to refuse to break his word. 
The war continued for some time after this, 
until, at length, both nations became weary of 
the contest, and peace was made. The follow- 
ing is the treaty which was signed. It shows 
that the advantage, on the whole, in this first 
Punio war, was on the part of the Romans : 

"There shall be peace between Rome and 
Carthage. The Carthaginians shall evacuate 
all Sicily. They shall not make war upon any 
aLies of the Romans. They shall restore to the 
Romans, without ransom, all the prisoners wh ich 
they have taken from them, and pay them with- 
in ten years three thousand two hundred talents 
of silver." 

The war had continued twenty-four year* 

B.C. 234.] Hannibal at Saguntum. 35 

Parentage of Hannibal. Character of Hamilcar 

Chapter II. 
Hannibal at Saguntum. 

THE name of Hannibal's father was Hamil- 
car. He was one of the leading Cartha 
ginian generals. He occupied a very prominent 
position, both on account of his rank, and wealth, 
and high family connections at Carthage, and 
also on account of the great military energy 
which he displayed in the command of the ar- 
mies abroad. He carried on the wars which 
the Carthaginians waged in Africa and in Spain 
after the conclusion of the war with the Romans, 
and he longed to commence hostilities with the 
Romans again. 

At one time, when Hannibal was about nine 
years of age, Hamilcar was preparing to set off 
on an expedition into Spain, and, as was usual 
in those days, he was celebrating the occasion 
with games, and spectacles, and various religious 
ceremonies. It has been the custom in all ages 
of the world, when nations go to war with each 
other, for each side to take measures for propi- 
tiating the favor of Heaven. Christian nations 
at the present day do it by prayers offered in 

34 Hannibal. [B.C. 234 

Religion* cerera jnies. Hannibal's famons oath of enmity to Roma 

each country for the success of their own arms 
Heathen nations do it by sacrifices, libations, 
and offerings. Hamilcar had made arrange- 
ments for such sacrifices, and the priests were 
offering them in the presence of the whole a* 
sembled army. 

Young Hannibal, then about nine years of 
age, was present. He was a boy of great spirit 
and energy, and he entered with much enthu- 
siasm into the scene. He wanted to go to Spain 
himself with the army, and he came to his fa- 
ther and began to urge his request. His father 
could not consent to this. He was too young 
to endure the privations and fatigues of such an 
enterprise. However, his father brought him 
to one of the altars, in the presence of the other 
officers of the army, and made him lay his hand 
upon the consecrated victim, and swear that, aa 
soon as he was old enough, and had it in his 
power, he would make war upon the Romans. 
This was done, no doubt, in part to amuse young 
Hannibal's mind, and to relieve his disappoint- 
ment in not being able to go to war at that 
time, by promising him a great and mighty en 
eray to fight at seme future day Hannibal re- 
membered it, and longed for the time to comes 
vhen he could go to war against the Ramans 

B.C. 234.] Hannibal at JSaguntum 35 

Hamilcar in Spain. Hasdrubal. Death of Hamilcar 

Hamilcar bade his son farewell and embarked 
for Spain. He was at liberty to extend his con 
quests there in all directions west of the Rivei 
Iberus, a river which the reader will find upon 
the map, flowing southeast into the Mediterra- 
nean Sea. Its name, Iberus, has been gradu- 
ally changed, in modern times, to Ebro. By 
the treaty with the Romans the Carthaginians 
were not to cross the Iberus. They were also 
bound by the treaty not to molest the people of 
Saguntum, a city lying between the Iberus and 
the Carthaginian dominions. Saguntum was 
in alliance with the Romans and under their 

Hamilcar was, however, very restless and un- 
easy at being obliged thus to refrain from hos 
tilities with the Roman power. He began, im< 
mediately after his arrival in Spain, to forn 
plans for renewing the war. He had unde» 
him, as his principal lieutenant, a young man 
who had married his daughter. His name was 
Hasdrubal. With HasdrubaPs aid, he went on 
extending his conquests in Spain, and strength- 
ening his position there, and gradually matur- 
ing his plans for renewing war with the Ro- 
mans, when at length he died. Hasdrubal sue 
seeded him. Hannibal was now, probably, about 

86 Hannibal. [B.C. 221 

Hannibal sent for to Spain. Opposition of Hann« 

twenty-one or two years old, and still in Car 
thage. Hasdmbal sent to the Carthaginian gov 
eminent a request that Hannibal might receive 
an appointment in the army, and be sent out to 
join him in Spain. 

On the subject of complying with this re- 
quest there was a great debate in the Cartha- 
ginian senate. In all cases where questions of 
government are controlled by votes, it has been 
found, in every age, that parties will always be 
formed, of which the two most prominent will 
usually be nearly balanced one against the oth- 
er. Thus, at this time, though the Hamilcar 
family were in power, there was a very strong 
party in Carthage in opposition to them. The 
leader of this party in the senate, whose name 
was Hanno, made a very earnest speech against 
sending Hannibal. He was too young, he said, 
to be of any service. He would only learn the 
vices and follies of the camp, and thus become 
corrupted and ruined. " Besides," said Hanno, 
" at this rate, the command of our armies in 
Spain is getting to be a sort of hereditary right 
Hamilcar was not a king, that his authority 
should thus descend first to his son-in-law and 
then to his son ; for this plan of making Han- 
nibal," he said, " while yet scarcely arrived at 

B.C.221.] Hannibal at Saguntum. 3? 

Hannibal sets out for Spain. Favorable impression on the army 

manhood, a high officer in the army, is only a 
stepping-stone to the putting of the forces wholly 
under his orders, whenever, for any reason, Has 
drubal shall cease to command them." 

The Roman historian, through whose narra- 
tive we get our only account of this debate, 
says that, though these were good reasons, yet 
strength prevailed, as usual, over wisdom, in 
the decision of the question. They voted to 
send Hannibal, and he set out to cross the sea to 
Spain with a heart full of enthusiasm and joy. 

A great deal of curiosity and interest was felt 
throughout the army to see him on his arrival 
The soldiers had been devotedly attached to his 
father, and they were all ready to transfer this 
attachment at once to the son, if he should prove 
worthy of it. It was very evident, soon after 
he reached the camp, that he was going to prove 
himself thus worthy. He entered at once into 
the duties of his position with a degree of ener- 
gy, patience, and self-denial which attracted 
universal attention, and made him a universal 
favorite. He dressed plainly; he assumed no 
airs ; he sought for no pleasures or indulgences, 
uor demanded any exemption from the dangers 
and privations which the common soldiers had 
to endure. He ate plain food, and slept, often 

38 Hannibal. [B.C. 221 

Character of Hannibal He la elevated to the supreme command 

in his military cloak, on the ground, in the 
midst of the soldiers on guard ; and in battle he 
was always foremost to press forward into the 
contest, and the last to leave the ground when 
the time came for repose. The Romans say 
that, in addition to these qualities, he was in- 
human and merciless when in open warfare 
with his foes, and cunning and treacherous in 
every other mode of dealing with them. It is 
very probable that he was so. Such traits of 
character were considered by soldiers in those 
days, as they are now, virtues in themselves, 
though vices in their enemies. 

However this may be, Hannibal became a 
great and universal favorite in the army. He 
went on for several years increasing his military 
knowledge, and widening and extending his in- 
fluence, when at length, one day, Hasdrubal 
was suddenly killed by a ferocious native of the 
country whom he had by some means offended. 
As soon as the first shock of this occurrence 
was over, the leaders of the army went in pur- 
suit of Hannibal, whom they brought in tri- 
umph to the tent of Hasdrubal, and instated 
him at once in the supreme command, with cna 
consent and in the midst of universal acclama- 
tions As soon as news of this went -eaohod 

B.C. 221.] Hannibal at Saguntum. 39 

The River Iberus. Hannibal seeks a war with the Roman* 

Carthage, the government there confirmed the 
act of the army, and Hannibal thus found him- 
self suddenly but securely invested with a very 
high military command. 

His eager and restless desire to try his strength 
with the Romans received a new impulse by his 
finding that the power was now in his hands. 
Still the two countries were at peace. They 
were bound by solemn treaties to continue so 
The River Iberus was the boundary which sep- 
arated the dominions of the two nations from 
each other in Spain, the territory east of that 
boundary being under the Roman power, and 
that on the west under that of the Carthagin- 
ians ; except that Saguntum, which was on the 
western side, was an ally of the Romans, and 
the Carthaginians were bound by the treaty to 
leave it independent and free. 

Hannibal could not, therefore, cross the Ibe- 
rus or attack Saguntum without an open in- 
fraction of the treaty. He, however, immedi- 
ately began to move toward Saguntum and to 
attack the nations in the immediate vioinity of 
it. If he wished to get into a war with the Ro- 
mans, this was the proper way to promote it; 
for, by advancing thus into the immediate vi- 
cinity of the capital of their allies, there was 

40 Hannibal. [B.C. 219 

Stratagem cf HannibaL Fording the rlrer 

great probability that disputes would arise whiob 
would sooner or later end in war. 

The Romans say that Hannibal was cunning 
and treacherous, and he certainly did display, 
on some occasions, a great degree of adroitness 
in his stratagems. In one instance in these pre- 
lirninary wars he gained a victory over an im- 
mensely superior force in a very remarkable 
manner. He was returning from an inroad 
upon some of the northern provinces, laden and 
encumbered with spoil, when he learned that 
an immense army, consisting, it was said, of a 
hundred thousand men, were coming down upon 
his rear. There was a river at a short distance 
before him. Hannibal pressed on and crossed 
the river by a ford, the water being, perhaps, 
about three feet deep. He secreted a large body 
of oavalry near the bank of the stream, and push- 
ed on with the main body of the army to some 
little distance from the river, so as to produce 
the impression upon his pursuers that he wa* 
pressing forward to make his escape. 

The enemy, thinking that they had no time 
tc lose ; poured down in great numbers into the 
stream from various points along the banks ; 
and, as soon as they had reached the middle of 
tiie current, and were wading laboriously, half 

B.C. 219.] Hannibal lt Saguntum. 4* 

Great battle in the River Tagrus. Victory of Har-niba. 

submerged, with their weapons held above theii 
heads, so as to present as little resistance as pos- 
sible to the water, the horsemen of Hanniba 
rushed in to meet and attack them. The horse- 
men had, of course, greatly the advantage ; for, 
though their horses were in the water, they were 
themselves raised above it, and their limbs were 
free, while their enemies were half submerged, 
and, being encumbered by their arms and by 
one another, were nearly helpless. They were 
immediately thrown into complete confusion, 
and were overwhelmed and carried down by the 
current in great numbers. Some of them suc- 
ceeded in landing below, on Hannibal's side; 
but, in the mean time, the main body of his 
army had returned, and was ready to receive 
them, and they were trampled under foot by 
the elephants, which it was the custom to em- 
ploy, in those days, as a military force. As 
goon as the river was cleared, Hannibal march- 
ed his own army across it, and attacked what 
remained of the enemy on their own side. He 
gained a complete victory, which was so great 
and decisive that he secured by it possession of 
the whole country west of the Iberus, except 
Saguntum, and Saguntum itself began to be 
seriously alarmed. 

•* Hannibal. [B.C. 218 

aweuntiua. Hannibal attacks it 

The Sagun tines sent embassadors to Rome 
w ask the Romans to interpose and protect them 
trom the dangers which threatened them. These 
eraDassadors made diligent efforts to reach Rome 
iw soon as possible, but they were too late. On 
wnme pretext or other, Hannibal contrived to 
raise a dispute between the city and one of the 
neighboring tribes, and then, taking sides with 
trie trine, he advanced to attack the city. The 
fcftgfuntines prepared for their defense, hoping 
woo to receive succors from Rome. They 
•trengtnened and fortified their walls, while 
Hannibal began to move forward great military 
engine* for battering them down. 

Hannibal knew very well that by his hostili- 
ties against this city he was commencing a con- 
test with Rome itself, as Rome must necessa- 
rily take part with her ally. In fact, there is 
qo doubt that his design was to bring on a gen- 
eral war between the two great nations. He 
oegan with Saguntum for two reasons : first, 
it would not be safe for him to cross the Iberus, 
«nd advance into the Roman territory, leaving 
go wealthy and powerful a city in his rear ; and 
men, in the second place, it was easier for him 
co find pretexts for getting indirectly into a 
uoarrei with Saguntum, and throwing the odi* 

B.C.218.] Hannibal *t Saguntum 4-^ 

ProgreM of the tiege. Hannlba wounan*. 

am of a declaration of war on Rome, tnan x* 
persuade the Carthaginian state to renounce 
the peace and themselves commence hostilities 
There was, as has been already stated, a vert? 
strong party at Carthage opposed to Hannibal. 
who would, of course, resist any measures tend- 
ing to a war with Rome, for they would con- 
sider such a war as opening a vast field for grat- 
ifying Hannibal's ambition. The only way, 
therefore, was to provoke a war by aggression* 
on the Roman allies, to be justified bv the bent 
pretexts he could find. 

Saguntum was a very wealthy and powermi 
city. It was situated about a mile from the 
sea. The attack upon the place, and the de 
fense of it by the inhabitants, went on for soma 
time with great vigor. In these operations. 
Hannibal exposed himself to great danger. He 
approached, at one time, so near the wall, in 
superintending the arrangements of his soldiers 
and the planting of his engines, that a neaw 
javelin, thrown from the parapet, struck him on 
the thigh. It pierced the flesh, and inflicted so 
severe a wound that he fell immediately, and 
was borne away by the soldiers. It was sever- 
al days before he was free frc m the danger in- 
curred by the loss of blood and the fever wniea 

46 Hannibal. [B.C.218 

Hannibal recovers. Th«' falarica 

follows such a wound. During all this time his 
army were in a great state of excitement and 
anxiety, and suspended their active operations. 
A.S soon, however, as Hannibal was found to 
be decidedly convalescent, they resumed them 
again, and urged them onward with greater en- 
ergy than before. 

The weapons of warfare in those ancient days 
were entirely different from those which are now 
employed, and there was one, described by an 
ancient historian as used by the Saguntines at 
this siege, which might almost come under the 
modern denomination of tire-arms. It was call- 
ed the falarica. It was a sort of javelin, con- 
sisting of a shaft of wood, with a long point of 
iron. This point was said to be three feet long. 
This javelin was to be thrown at the enemy 
either from the hand of the soldier or by an en- 
gine. The leading peculiarity of it was, how- 
ever, that, near to the pointed end, there were 
wound around the wooden shaft long bands of 
tow, which were saturated with pitch and cither 
combustibles, and this inflammable band was 
set on fire just before the javelin was thrown 
\s the missile flew on its way, the wind fanned 
the flames, and made them burn so fiercely, that 
when the javelin struck the shield of the soldiel 

B.C.218.I Hannibal at Saguntum. 47 

Arrival of the Roman embassadors. Hannibal'* policy 

opposing it, it could not be pulled out, and the 
shield itself had to be thrown down and aban- 

While the inhabitants of Saguntum were 
vainly endeavoring to defend themselves against 
their terrible enemy by these and similar means, 
their embassadors, not knowing that the city 
had been attacked, had reached Rome, and had 
laid before the Roman senate their fears that 
the city would be attacked, unless they adopted 
vigorous and immediate measures to prevent it. 
The Romans resolved to send embassadors to 
Hannibal to demand of him what his intentions 
were, and to warn him against any acts of hos- 
tility against Saguntum. When these Roman 
embassadors arrived on the coast, near to Sa- 
guntum, they found that hostilities had com- 
menced, and that the city was hotly besieged 
They were at a loss to know what to do. 

It is better for a rebel not to hear an order 
which he is determined beforehand not to obey. 
Hannibal, with an adroitness which the Cartha- 
ginians called sagacity, and the Romans treach- 
ery and cunning, determined not to see these 
messengers. He sent word to them, at the shore, 
that they must not attempt to come to his camp, 
Got Iho country was in such a disturbed condi- 

48 Hannibal. [B. C. 218 

Haunibal sends embassadors to Carthage. The Roman embassador! 

tion that it would not be safe for them to land ; 
and besides, he could not receive or attend to 
tnera. lor he was too much pressed with the ur- 
gency of his military works to have any time be 
scare lor debates and negotiations. 

Hannibal knew that the embassadors, being 
tna.« repulsed, and having found, too, that the 
war nad broken out, and that Saguntum was 
acxuaav beset and besieged by Hannibal's ar- 
mies, would proceed immediately to Carthage 
fco aemand satisfaction there. He knew, also, 
tnat Hanno and his party would very probably 
esDouse the cause of the Romans, and endeavor 
so arrest his designs. He accordingly sent his 
own embassadors to Carthage, to exert an influ- 
ence in his favor m the Carthaginian senate, and 
endeavor to urge them to reject the claims oi 
trie Romans, and allow the war between Rome 
and Carthage to break out again. 

The Roman embassadors appeared at Car- 
riage, and were admitted to an audience before 
tf*e senate. They stated their case, represent- 
ing tnat Hannibal had made war upon Sagun- 
tum m violation of the treaty, and had refused 
f**en to receive the communication which had 
tmen sent him by the Roman senate through 
taem. Thev demanded that the Carthaginian 

B.C. 218. J Hannibal at Saguntum. 41 1 

Parties in the Carthaginian senate. Speech of Hanito 

government should disavow his acts, and delivei 
him up to them, in order that he might receive 
the punishment which his violation of the treaty , 
and his aggressions upon an ally of the Romans, 
so justly deserved. 

The party of Hannibal in the Carthaginian 
senate were, of course, earnest to have these pro- 
posals rejected with scorn. The other side, with 
Hanno at their head, maintained that they were 
reasonable demands. Hanno, in a very ener- 
getic and powerful speech, told the senate that 
he had warned them not to send Hannibal into 
Spain. He had foreseen that such a hot and 
turbulent spirit as his would involve them in 
inextricable difficulties with the Roman power. 
Hannibal had, he said, plainly violated the treaty. 
He had invested and besieged Saguntum, which 
they were solemnly bound not to molest, and 
they had nothing to expect in return but that 
the Roman legions would soon be investing and 
besieging their own city. In the mean time, 
the Romans,' he added, had been moderate and 
forbearing. They had brought nothing to the 
charge of the Carthaginians They accused no- 
body but Hannibal, who, thus far, alone was 
guilty. The Carthaginians, by disavowing his 
act?, could save themselves from the responsi- 

50 Hannibal. [B.C. 218 

Harm* proposes to gire up Hannital. - Ifefense of Hannibal's friends 

bility of them. He Jrged, therefore, that an 
embassage of apology should be sent to Rome, 
that Hannibal should be deposed and delivered 
ap to the Romans, and that ample restitution 
should be made to the Saguntines for the inju- 
ries they had received. 

On the other hand, the friends of Hannibal 
urged in the Carthaginian senate their defense 
of the general. They review ed the history of 
the transactions in which the war had origina- 
ted, and showed, or attempted to show, that the 
Saguntines themselves commenced hostilities, 
and that consequently they, and not Hannibal, 
were responsible for all that followed ; that, un- 
der those circumstances, the Romans ought not 
to take their part, and if they did so, it proved 
that they preferred the friendship of Saguntum 
to that of Carthage ; and that it would be cow- 
ardly and dishonorable in the extreme for them 
to deliver the general whom they had placed in 
power, and who had shown himself so worthy 
of their choice by his courage and energy, intc 
the hands of their ancient and implacable foes. 

Thus Hannibal was waging at the same time 
two wars, one in the Carthaginian senate, where 
the weapons were arguments and eloquence, and 
the other under the walls c f Saguntum, which 

B.C. 218.] Hannibal at JSa.guntum. 51 

Hannibal triumohant I <* V' Saguntum fall* 

was fought with battering rams and fiery jave- 
lins. He conquered in both. The senate de- 
cided to send the Roman embassadors home 
without acceding to their demands, and the 
walls of Saguntum were battered down by Han- 
nibal's engines. The inhabitants refused aL 
terms of compromise, and resisted to the last, 
so that, when the victorious soldiery broke over 
the prostrate walls, and poured into the city, it 
was given up to them to plunder, and they killed 
and destroyed all that came in their way. The 
disappointed embassadors returned to Rome 
with the news that Saguntum had been taken 
and destroyed by Hannibal, and that the Car- 
thaginians, far from offering any satisfaction for 
the wrong, assumed the responsibility of it them- 
selves, and were preparing for war. 

Thus Hanniba) accomplished his purpose of 
opening the way for waging war against the 
Roman power. He prepared to enter Jito the 
contest with the utmost energy and zeal. The 
conflict that ensued lasted seventeen years, and 
Lb known in history as the second Punie war. 
It was one of the most dreadful struggles be- 
tween rival and hostile nations which the gloomy 
history of mankind exhibits to view. The events 
that occurred will be described in the subse- 
quent ohaDters. 

6 2 k 2 1 2 5 

52 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Kail of HaniiO'e party. rower of tlannlbal 

Chapter III. 

Opening of the Second Punic War. 

T7STHEN the tide once turns in any nation 
" * in favor of war, it generally rushes on 
with great impetuosity and force, and bears all 
before it. It was so in Carthage in this in- 
stance. The party of Hanno were thrown en- 
tirely into the minority and silenced, and the 
friends and partisans of Hannibal carried not 
only the government, but the whole community 
with them, and every body was eager for war. 
This was owing, in part, to the natural conta- 
giousness of the martial spirit, which, when felt 
by one, catches easily, by sympathy, in the heart 
of another. It is a fire which, when once it be- 
gins to burn, spreads in every direction, and con- 
sumes all that comes in its way. 

Besides, when Hannibal gained possession of 
Saguntum, he found immense treasures there, 
which he employed, not to increase his cwn 
private fortune, but to strengthen and confirm 
his civil and military power. The Saguntines 
did every thing they could to prevent thc*e 

B.C.217.] Second Punic War, 53 

Detperate valor of the Saguntinea. Hannibal's dispositict of the spoil* 

treasures from falling into his hands. They 
fought desperately to the last, refused all terms 
of surrender, and they became so insanely des- 
perate in the end, that, according to the narra- 
tive of Livy, when they found that the walls 
and towers of the city were falling in, and that 
all hope of further defense was gone, they built 
an enormous fire in the public streets, and heap 
ed upon it all the treasures which they had time 
to collect that fire could destroy, and then that 
many of the principal inhabitants leaped into 
the flames themselves, in order that their hated 
conquerors might lose their prisoners as well as 
their spoils. 

Notwithstanding this, however, Hannibal ob- 
tained a vast amount of gold and silver, both in 
the form of money and of plate, and also much 
valuable merchandise, which the Saguntine mer- 
chants had accumulated in their palaces and 
warehouses. He used all this property to 
strengthen his own political and military posi- 
tion. He paid his soldiers all the arrears due 
to them in full. He divided among them a 
large additional amount as their share of the 
spoil. He sent rich trophies home to Carthage, 
and presents, consisting of sums of money, and 
jewelry, and gems, to his friends there, and tc 

54 Hannibal. [RC. 217 

Hannibal chosen one of the suffetes. Nature of the office 

those whom he wished to make his friends. The 
result of this munificence, and of the renown 
which his victories in Spain had procured for 
aim, was to raise him to the highest pinnacle 
>f influence and honor. The Carthaginians 
chose him one of the suffetes. 

The suffetes were the supreme executive offi- 
cers of the Carthaginian commonwealth. The 
government was, as has been remarked before, 
a sort of aristocratic republic, and republics are 
always very cautious about intrusting power, 
even executive power, to any one man. As 
Rome had two consuls, reigning jointly, and 
France, after her first revolution, a Directory 
of jive, so the Carthaginians chose annually two 
suffetes, as they were called at Carthage, though 
the Roman writers call them indiscriminately 
suffetes, consuls, and kings. Hannibal was now 
advanced to this dignity ; so that, in conjunc- 
tion with his colleague, he held the supreme 
civil authority at Carthage, besides being in* 
vested with the command of the vast and vic- 
torious army in Spain. 

When news of these events — the siego and 
destruction of Saguntum, the rejection of the 
Jemands of the Roman embassadors, and the 
vigorous preparations making by the Cartha 

B.C. 217.] Second Punic War. 55 

Vreat excitement at Rome. Fearful anticipation* 

ginians for war — reached Rome, the whole city 
was thrown into consternation. The senate 
and the people held tumultuous and disorderly 
assemblies, in which the events which had oc- 
curred, and the course of proceeding which it 
was incumbent on the Romans to take, were 
discussed with much excitement and clamor 
The Romans were, in fact, afraid of the Car- 
thaginians. The campaigns of Hannibal in 
Spain had impressed the people with a strong 
sense of the remorseless and terrible energy of 
his character ; they at once concluded that his 
plans would be formed for marching into Italy, 
and they even anticipated the danger of his 
bringing the war up to the very gates of the 
city, so as to threaten them with the destruc- 
tion which he had brought upon Saguntum. 
The event showed how justly they appreciated 
his charactsr 

Since the conclusion of the first Punic war, 
there had been peace between the Romans and 
Carthaginians for about a quarter of a century. 
During all this time both nations had been ad- 
vancing in wealth and power, but the Cartha- 
ginians had made much more rapid progress 
than the Romans. The Romans had, indeed, 
been very successful at the onset in the formei 

56 Hannib a l. J U.u. 217 

tiew embassy to Carthage. Warm debatf* 

war, but in the end the Carthaginians nac 
proved themselves their equal. They seemed, 
therefore, to dread now a fresh encounter with 
these powerful foes, led on, as they were now to 
be, by such a commander as Hanniba 

They determined, therefore, to send a second 
embassy to Carthage, with a view of making 
^ne more effort to preserve peace before actual- 
ly commencing hostilities. They accordingly 
^lected five men from among the most influ- 
ential citizens of the state — men of venerable 
age and of great public consideration — *nc! 
commissioned them to proceed to Carthage an<3 
ask once more whether it was the deliberate 
and final decision of the Carthaginian senate 
to avow and sustain the action of Hannibal 
This solemn embassage set sail. They arrived 
at Carthage. They appeared before the senate. 
They argued their cause, but it was, of course, 
to deaf and unwilling ears. The Carthaginian 
orators replied to them, each side attempting to 
throw the blame of the violation of the treaty 
on the other. It was a solemn hour, for the 
peace of the world, the lives of hundreds of 
thousands of men, and the continued happiness 
or the desolation and ruin of vast regions ol 
eountrv, depended on the issue of the debate 

B.U217.] Second Punic War. 5? 

Fruitless negotiations. The embassadors return 

Unhappily, the breach was only widened by the 
discussion. " Very well," said the Roman 
commissioners, at last, " we offer you peace 01 
war, which do you choose ?" " Whichever you 
please/' replied the Carthaginians; "decide for 
yourselves." " War, then," said the Romans, 
" since it must be so." The conference was 
broken up, and the embassadors returned to 

They returned, however, by the way o 
Spain. Their object in doing this was to ne- 
gotiate with the various kingdoms and tribes in 
Spain and in France, through which Hannibal 
would have to march in invading Italy, and en- 
deavor to induce them to take sides with the 
Romans. They were too late, however, for 
Hannibal had contrived to extend and establish 
his influence in all that region too strongly to 
be shaken ; so that, on one pretext or another, 
the Roman proposals were all rejected. There 
was one powerful tribe, for example, called the 
Volscians. The embassadors, in the presenoe 
of the great council of the Volscians, made 
Known to them the probability of war, and in- 
vited them to ally themselves with the Romans. 
The Volscians rejected the proposition with a 
sort of scorn. " We see," said thev* " from the 

38 Hannibal [B.C. 217 

Reply of the Volscians. Council of Gaol* 

(ate of Saguntum, what is to be expected to re- 
sult from an alliance with the Romans. After 
leaving that city defenseless and alone in its 
struggle against such terrible danger, it is in 
vain to ask other nations to trust to your pro- 
tection . If you wish for new allies, it will be 
best for you to go where the story of Saguntum 
is not known." This answer of the Volscians 
was applauded by the other nations of Spain, as 
far as it was known, and the Roman embassa- 
dors, despairing of success in that country, went 
on into Gaul, which is the name by which the 
country now called France is known in ancient 

On reaching a certain place which was a cen- 
tral point of influence and power in Gaul, the 
Roman commissioners convened a great martial 
council there. The spectacle presented by this 
assembly was very imposing, for the warlike 
counselors came to the meeting armed complete- 
ly and in the most formidable manner, as if 
they were coming to a battle instead of a con- 
sultation and debate. The venerable embassa- 
dors laid the subject before them. They des- 
canted largely on the power and greatness of 
the Romans, and on the certainty that they 
should conquer in the approaching contest, an<l 

B.C.217.] Second Punic War. 59 

Tumultuous scene. Repulse jf the embassadors 

they invited the Gauls to espouse their cause, 
and to rise in arms and intercept Hannibal's 
passage through their country, if he should at- 
tempt to effect one. 

The assembly could hardly be induced to heai 
the embassadors through ; and, as soon as they 
had finished their address, the whole council 
broke forth into cries of dissent and displeasure, 
and even into shouts of derision. Order was at 
length restored, and the officers, whose duty it 
was to express the sentiments of the assembly, 
gave for their reply that the Gauls had never 
received any thing but violence and injuries 
from Rome, or any thing but kindness and good- 
will from Carthage ; and that they had no idea 
of being guilty of the folly of bringing the im- 
pending storm of Hannibal's hostility upon their 
own heads, merely for the sake of averting it 
from their ancient and implacable foes. Thus 
the embassadors were every where repulsed. 
They found no friendly disposition toward the 
Roman power till they had crossed the Rhone. 

Hannibal began now to form his plans, in a 
very deliberate and cautious manner, for a march 
into Italy. He knew well that this was an ex- 
pedition of such magnitude and duration as to re- 
quire beforehand the most careful and well-con 

60 Hannibal [B.C.2W 

tfannibal's kindness to his soldiers. He mature* his design* 

sidered arrangements, both for the forces which 
were to go, and for the states and communities 
which were to remain. The winter was com- 
ing on. His 'first measure was to dismiss a 
large portion of his forces, that they might visit 
their homes. He told them that he was intend- 
ing some great designs for the ensuing spring, 
which might take them to a great distance, and 
keep them for a long time absent from Spain, 
and he would, accordingly, give them the inter- 
vening time to visit their families and their 
homes, and to arrange their affairs. This act 
of kind consideration and confidence renewed 
the attachment of the soldiers to their command- 
er, and they returned to his camp in the spring 
not only with new strength and vigor, but with 
redoubled attachment to the service in which 
they were engaged. 

Hannibal, after sending home his soldiers, re- 
tired himself to New Carthage, which, as will 
be seen by the map, is further west than Sa- 
guntum, where he went into winter quarters, 
and devoted himself to the maturing of .lis de- 
signs. Besides the necessary preparations foi 
his own march, he had to provide for the gov- 
ernment of the countries that he should leave 
He devised various and ingenious plans to pre 

I >.C. ^17. | Second Punig War. b] 

Hannibal's plan for the government of Spain in his absence. 

vent the danger of insurrections and rebellions 
while he was gone. One was, to organize an 
army for Spain out of soldiers drawn from Af- 
rica, while the troops which were to be em- 
ployed to garrison Carthage, and to sustain the 
government there, were taken from Spain. By 
thus changing the troops of the two countries, 
each country was controlled by a foreign sol- 
diery, who were more likely to be faithful in 
their obedience to their commanders, and less 
in danger of sympathizing with the populations 
which they were respectively employed to con- 
trol, than if each had been retained in its own 
native land. 

Hannibal knew very well that the various 
states and provinces of Spain, which had refused 
to ally themselves with the Romans and aban- 
don him, had been led to do this through the 
influence of his presents or the fear of his pow- 
er, and that if, after he had penetrated into It- 
aly, he should meet with reverses, so as to di- 
minish very much their hope of deriving beno- 
fit from his favor or their fear of his power, thero 
would be great danger of defections and revolts 
As an additional security against this, he adopt- 
ed the following ingenious plan. He enlisted a 
body of troops from among all the nation* of 

62 Hann bal [B.C.217 

Hannibal's brother HafidrubaL He is left in charge of Spain 

Spain that were in alliance with him, selecting 
the young men who were enlisted as much as 
possible from families of consideration and influ- 
ence, and this body of troops, when organized 
and officered, he sent into Carthage, giving the 
nations and tribes from which they were drawn 
to understand that he considered them not only 
as soldiers serving in his armies, but as hosta- 
ges, which he should hold as security for the 
fidelity and obedience of the countries from 
which they had come. The number of these 
soldiers was four thousand. 

Hannibal had a brother, whose name, as it 
happened, was the same as that of his brother- 
in-law, Hasdrubal. It was to him that he com- 
mitted the government of Spain during his ab- 
sence. The soldiers provided for him were, as 
has been already stated, mainly drawn from 
Africa. In addition to the foot soldiers, he pro- 
vided him with a small body of horse. He left 
with him, also, fourteen elephants. And as he 
thought it not improbable that the Romans 
might, in some contingency during his absence, 
make a descent upon the Spanish coast from 
the sea, he built and equipped for him a smaU 
fleet of about sixty vessels, fifty of which were 
of the first class. In modern times, the mag- 

B.C.217.] Second Punic War. 63 

Preparations of the Romans. Their plan for the war 

nitude and efficiency of a ship is estimated by 
the number of guns she will carry; then, i1 
was the number of banks of oars. Fifty of 
HasdrubaPs ships were quinqueremes, as they 
were called, that is, they had five banks of oars 

The Romans, on the other hand, did not neg. 
iect their own preparations. Though reluct- 
ant to enter upon the war, they still prepared 
to engage in it with their characteristic energy 
and ardor, when they found that it could not 
be averted. They resolved on raising two pow- 
erful armies, one for each of the consuls. The 
plan was, with one of these to advance to meet 
Hannibal, and with the other to proceed to Sic- 
ily, and from Sicily to the African coast, with 
a view of threatening the Carthaginian capital 
This plan, if successful, would compel the Car- 
thaginians to recall a part or the whole of Han- 
nibal's army from the intended invasion of It- 
aly to defend their own African homes. 

The force raised by the Romans amounted ta 
aoout seventy thousand men. About a third of 
these were Roman soldiers, and the remaindei 
were drawn from various nations dwelling in 
Italy and in the islands of the Mediterranean 
Sea which were in alliance with the Romans. 
Of these troops six thousand were cavalrv Of 

f>4 IlANNIbAL. [B.C.217 

rhe Roman fleet Drawing lota 

oourse, as tho Romans intended to cross into 
Africa, they needed a fleet. They built and 
equipped one, which consisted of two hundred 
md twenty ships of the largest class, that 
18, quinqueremes, besides a number of smaller 
and lighter vessels for services requiring speed. 
There were vessels in use in those times largei 
than the quinqueremes. Mention is occasion- 
ally made of those which had six and even sev- 
3n banks of oars. But these were only employ- 
ed as the flag-ships of commanders, and for 
other purposes of ceremony and parade, as they 
were too unwieldy for efficient service in action. 
Lots were then drawn in a very solemn man- 
ner, according to the Roman custom on such 
occasions, to decide on the assignment of theso 
two armies to the respective consuls. The one 
destined to meet Hannibal on his way from 
Spain, fell to a consul named Cornelius Scipio. 
The name of the other was Sempronius. It 
devolved on him, consequently, to take charge 
af the expedition destined to Sicily and Africa 
When all the arrangements were thus made 
the question was finally put, in a very solemn 
and formal manner, to the Roman people for 
their final vote and decision. " Do the Roman 
people decide and decree that war shall be da 

B.C. 217.] Second Funic War. 65 

Religions ceremonies. Hannibal s march 

clared against the Carthaginians?" The de- 
cision was in the affirmative. The war wa? 
then proclaimed with the usual imposing cere- 
monies. Sacrifices and religious celebrations 
followed, to propitiate the favor of the gods, and 
to inspire the soldiers with that kind of cour- 
age and confidence which the superstitious, 
however wicked, feel when they can imagine 
themselves under the protection of heaven. 
These shows and spectacles being over, all 
things were ready. 

In the mean time Hannibal was moving on, 
as the spring advanced, toward the banks of the 
Iberus, that frontier stream, the crossing of 
which made him an invader of what was, in 
some sense, Roman territory. He boldly passed 
the stream, and moved forward along the coast 
of the Mediterranean, gradually approaching the 
Pyrenees, which form the boundary between 
France and Spain. His soldiers hitherto did 
not know what his plans were. It is very lit- 
tle the custom now for military and naval com- 
manders to communicate to their men muoh in- 
formation about their designs, and it was still 
less the custom then ; and besides, in those days, 
the common soldiers had no access to those 

means of information by which news of even 

H6 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

The Pyrenees. Discontent in Hannibal ■ army. 

sort is now so universally diffused. Thus, 
though all the officers of the army, and well- 
informed citizens, both in Rome and Carthage, 
anticipated and understood Hannibal's designs, 
his own soldiers, ignorant and degraded, knew 
nothing except that they were to go on some 
distant and dangerous service. They, very like- 
ly, had no idea whatever of Italy or of Rome, 
or of the magnitude of the possessions, or of the 
power held by the vast empire which they were 
going to invade. 

When, however, after traveling day after day, 
they came to the foot of the Pyrenees, and found 
that they were really going to pass that might} 
chain of mountains, and for this purpose were 
actually entering its wild and gloomy defiles, 
the courage of some of them failed, and they be- 
gan to murmur. The discontent and alarm 
were, in fact, so great, that one corps, consist- 
ing of about three thousand men, left the camp 
in a body, and moved back toward their homes 
On inquiry, Hannibal found that there were ter 
thousand more who were in a similar state of 
feeling. His whole force consisted of ovei on^ 
hundred thousand. And now what does the 
reader imagine that Hannibal would do in sucb 
an emergency? Would he return in pursuit 

K.C.217.J Second Punic War. 67 

Hannibal's address. The discoutented sent horns 

of these deserters, to recapture and destroy them 
as a terror to the rest? or would he let them 
go, and attempt by words of conciliation and en- 
couragement to confirm and save those that yot 
remained ? He did neither. He called togeth- 
er the ten thousand discontented troops that 
were still in his camp, and told them that, since 
they were afraid to accompany his army, or un- 
willing to do so, they might return. He want- 
ed none in his service who had not the courage 
and the fortitude to go on wherever he might 
ead. He would not have the faint-hearted and 
the timid in his army. They would only be a 
burden to load down and impede the courage 
and energy of the rest. So saying, he gave or- 
ders for them to return, and with the rest of the 
army, whose resolution and ardor were redoubled 
by this occurrence, ho moved on through the 
passes of the mountains. 

This act of Hannibal, in permitting his dis- 
contented soldiers to return, had all the effect 
of a deed of generosity in its influence upon ;he 
minds of the soldiers who went on. We must 
not, however, imagine that it was prompted by 
a spirit of genercsity at all. It was policy. A 
Beoming generosity was, in this case, exactly 
what was wanted to answer his ends. Hanni 

68 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Hannibal'* iagacity. Tha PjTenee* paased 

bal was mercilessly cruel in all cases where he 
imagined that severity was demanded. It re 
quires great sagacity sometimes in a command- 
er to know when he must punish, and when it 
is wisest to overlook and forgive. Hannibal, 
like Alexander and Napoleon, possessed this sa- 
gacity in a very high degree ; and it was, doubt- 
less, the exercise of that principle alone which 
prompted his action on this occasion. 

Thus Hannibal passed the Pyrenees. The 
next difficulty that he anticipated was in cross- 
ing the River Rhone. 

B.C. 217.] Passage of the Rhone. 69 

Difficulties anticipated. Recoanoiteiing party 

Chapter IV. 
The Passage of the Rhone. 

HANNIBAL, after he had passed the Pyr. 
enees, did not anticipate any new diffi- 
culty till he should arrive at the Rhone. He 
knew very well that that was a broad and rap- 
id river, and that he must cross it near its 
mouth, where the water was deep and the banks 
low; and, besides, it was not impossible that 
the Romans who were coming to meet him, 
under Cornelius Scipio, might have reached 
the Rhone before he should arrive there, and be 
ready upon the banks to dispute his passage 
He had sent forward, therefore, a small detach- 
ment in advance, to reconnoiter the country and 
select a route to the Rhone, and if they met 
with no difficulties to arrest them there, they 
were to go on till they reached the Alps, and 
explore the passages and defiles through which 
his army could best cross those snow-covered 

It seems that before he reached the Pyrenees 
—that is, while he was upon the Spanish side of 

70 Hannibal. [B.C.217 

Some tribe* reduced. Alarm of the Gaul* 

them, some of the tribes through whose territo. 
ries he had to pass undertook to resist him, 
and he, consequently, had to attack them and 
reduce them by force ; and then, when he was 
ready to move on, he left a guard in the terri- 
tories thus conquered to keep them in subjec- 
tion. Rumois of this reached Gaul. The 
Gauls were alarmed for their own safety. They 
had not intended to oppose Hannibal so long as 
they supposed that he only wished for a safe 
passage through their country on his way to 
Italy ; but now, when they found, from what 
had occurred in Spain, that he was going to 
conquer the countries he traversed as he passed 
along, they became alarmed. They seized then- 
ar ms, and assembled in haste at Ruscino, and 
began to devise measures of defense. Ruscino 
was the same place as that in which the Ro- 
man embassadors met the great council of the 
Gauls on their return to Italy from Carthage. 

While this great council, or, rather, assembly 
y armies, was gathering at Ruscino, fud of 
threats and anger, Hannibal was at Uliberis, a 
town at the foot of the Pyrenean Mountains 
He seems to have had no fear that any opposi 
•ion which the Gauls could bring to bear against 
aim would be successful, but he dreaded the 

B.C. 217.J Passage of the Rhone. 71 

The Alp*. Difficulty of their posaga 

delay. He was extremely unwilling to spend 
the precious months of the early summer in 
oon tending with such foes as they, when the 
road to Italy was before him. Besides, the pass- 
es of the Alps, which are difficult and laborious 
at any time, are utterly impracticable except 
in the months of July and August. At all 
other seasons they are, or were in those days, 
blocked up with impassable snows. In modern 
times roads have been made, with galleries cut 
through the rock, and with the exposed places 
protected by sloping roofs projecting from above, 
over which storms sweep and avalanches slide 
without injury ; so that now the intercourse 
of ordinary travel between France and Italy, 
across the Alps, is kept up, in some measure, 
all the year. In Hannibal's time, however, the 
mountains could not be traversed except in the 
summer months, and if it had not been that the 
result justified the undertaking, it would have 
been considered an act of inexcusable rashness 
ami folly to attempt to cross with an am y at 

Hannibal had therefore no time to lose, and 
that circumstance made this case one of those 
in which forbearance and a show of generosity 
were called for, instead of defiance and force 

72 Hannibal [B.C. 21/ 

Hannibal's message to the Gauls. Success of his policy 

lie accordingly sent messengers to the counoi. 
at Ruscino to say, in a very complaisant and 
affable manner, that he wished to see and con- 
fer with their princes in person, and that, if 
they pleased, he would advance for this par- 
pose toward Ruscino ; or they might, if they 
preferred, come on toward him at Illiberis, 
where he would await their arrival. He in- 
vited them to come freely into his camp, and 
said that he was ready, if they were willing to 
receive him, to go into theirs, for he had come 
to Gaul as a friend and an ally, and wanted 
nothing but a free passage through their terri- 
tory. He had made a resolution, he said, if 
the Gauls would but allow him to keep it, that 
there should not be a single sword drawn in hi* 
army till he got into Italy. 

The alarm and the feelings of hostility which 
prevailed among the Gauls were greatly allay- 
ed by this message. They put their camp in 
motion, and went on to Illiberis The princes 
and high officers of theii armies went to Han 
uibaPs camp, and were received with the high- 
est marks of distinction and honor They were 
loaded with presents, and went away charmed 
with the affability, the wealth, and the generos- 
ity of their visitor. Instead of opposing hi* 

B.C. 217.] Passage of the Rhone. 73 

Cornelias Sciplo. He embark* hi* army 

progress, they became the conductors and guides 
of his army. They took them first to Ruscino, 
tfhich was, as it were, their capital, and thence, 
after a short delay, the army moved on without 
any further molestation toward the Rhone. 

In the mean time, the Roman consul Soipio, 
having embarked the troops destined to meet 
Hannibal in sixty ships at the mouth of the 
Tiber, set sail for the mouth of the Rhone. 
The men were crowded together in the ships, 
as armies necessarily must be when transport- 
ed by sea. They could not go far out to sea, 
for, as they had no compass in those days, 
there were no means of directing the course of 
navigation, in case of storms or cloudy skies, 
except by the land. The ships accordingly 
made their way slowly along the shore, some- 
times by means of sails and sometimes by 
oars, and, after suffering for some time the 
hardships and privations incident to such a vcy- 
age— the sea-sickness and the confinement of 
suoh swarming numbers in so narrow a spaoe 
bringing every species of discomfort in their 
train — the fleet entered the mouth of the Rhone 
The officers had no idea that Hannibal was 
near They had only heard of his having cross- 
ed the Iberus. They imagined that he was 

74 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Both armies on the Rhone. Exploring party 

still on the other side of the Pyrenees. They 
antered the Rhone by the first branch they 
came to — for the Rhone, like the Nile, divides 
near its mouth, and flows into the sea by sev- 
sral separate channels — and sailed without con • 
oern up to Marseilles, imagining that their en- 
emy was still hundreds of miles away, entangled^ 
perhaps, among the defiles of the Pyrenees. In- 
stead of that, he was safely encamped upon the 
banks of the Rhone, a short distance above them, 
quietly and coolly making his arrangements for 
crossing it. 

When Cornelius got his men upon the land, 
they were too much exhausted by the sickness 
and misery they had endured upon the voyage 
to move on to meet Hannibal without some 
days for rest and refreshment. Cornelius, how- 
ever, selected three hundred horsemen who were 
able to move, and sent them up the river on an 
exploring expedition, to learn the facts in re- 
spect to Hannibal, and to report them tc him. 
Dispatching them accordingly, he remained him- 
•elf in his camp, reorganizing and recruiting 
lis army, and awaiting the return of the party 
shat he had sent to explore. 

Although Hannibal had thus far met with nc 
aATious opposition in his progress through Gaul 

B.C. 217.J Passage of the Rhone. 75 

Feelings of the Gauls in respect to Hannibal. 

it must not, on that account, be supposed that 
the people, through whose territories he was 
passing, were really friendly to his cause, or 
pleased with his presence among them. An 
army is always a burden and a curse to any 
country that it enters, even when its only ob- 
ject is to pass peacefully through. The Gauls 
assumed a friendly attitude toward this dreaded 
invader and his horde only because they thought 
that by so doing he would the sooner pass and 
be gone. They ware too weak, and had too few 
means of resistance to attempt to stop him ; and, 
as the next best thing that they could do, re- 
solved to render him every possible aid to hast- 
en him on. This continued to be the policy of 
the various tribes until he reached the river 
The people on the further side of the river, how- 
ever, thought it was best for them to resist 
They were nearer to the Roman territories, and, 
consequently, somewhat more under Roman in- 
fluence. They feared the resentment of the Ro- 
mans if they should, even passively, render any 
oo-operation to Hannibal in his designs ; and, aa 
they had the broad and rapid river between them 
and their enemy, they thought there wts a rea- 
sonable prospect that, with its aid, they could 
exolude him from their territories altogether. 

76 Hannibal. IRC.217 

The Gauls beyond the river oppose Hannibal's passage. 

Thus it happened that, when Hannibal came 
to the stream, the people on one side were all 
eager to promote, while those on the other were 
determined to prevent his passage, both parties 
being animated by the same desire to free their 
country from such a pest as the presence of an 
army of ninety thousand men ; so that Hanni- 
bal stood at last upon the banks of the river, 
with the people on his side of the stream wait- 
ing and ready to furnish all the boats and ves- 
sels that they could command, and to render 
every aid in their power in the embarkation, 
while those on the other were drawn up in bat- 
tle array, rank behind rank, glittering with 
weapons, marshaled so as to guard every place 
of landing, and lining with pikes the whole extent 
of the shore, while the peaks of their tents, in 
vast numbers, with banners among them float- 
ing in the air, were to be seen in the distance 
behind them. All this time, the three hundred 
horsemen which Cornelius had dispatched were 
slowly and cautiously making their way up th* 
river from the Roman encampment below. 

After contemplating the scene presented to 
his view at the river for some time in silence, 
Hannibal commenced his preparations for cross- 
ing the stream. He collected first all the boats 

B.C. 217.] Passage of the Rhone. 77 

Preparations for crossing the river. Boat building 

of every kind which could be obtained among 
the Gauls who lived along the bank of the riv- 
er. These, however, only served for a begin- 
ning, and so he next got together all the work- 
men and all the tools which the country could 
furnish, for several miles around, and went to 
work constructing more. The Gauls of that re- 
gion had a custom of making boats of the trunks 
of large trees. The tree, being felled and cut 
to the proper length, was hollowed out with 
hatchets and adzes, and then, being turned bot- 
tom upward, the outside was shaped in such a 
manner as to make it glide easily through the 
water. So convenient is this mode of making 
boats, that it is practiced, in cases where suffi- 
ciently large trees are found, to the present day 
Such boats are now called canoes. 

There were plenty of large trees on the banks 
of the Rhone. Hannibal's soldiers watched the 
Gauls at their work, in making boats of them-, 
nntil they learned the art themselves. Some 
first assisted their new allies in the easier por« 
tions if the operation, and then began to feL' 
large trees and make the boats themselvos 
Others, who had less skill or more impetuosity 
chose not to wait for the slow process of hoi 
•owing the wood, and they, accordingly, would 

78 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

fc&ftft. The enemy look on in «Hence 

fell the trees upon the shore, cut the trunks of 
equal lengths, place them side by side in the wa- 
ter, and bolt or bind them together so as to form 
a raft. The form and fashion of their craft was 
of no consequence, they said, as it was for one 
passage only. Any thing would answer, if it 
would only float and bear its burden over. 

In the mean time, the enemy upon the oppo. 
site shore looked on, but they could do nothing 
to impede these operations. If they had had ar- 
tillery, such as is in use at the present day, they 
could have fired across the river, and have blown 
the boats and rafts to pieces with balls and shells 
as fast as the Gauls and Carthaginians could 
build them. In fact, the workmen could not 
have built them under such a cannonading ; 
but the enemy, in this case, had nothing but 
spears, and arrows, and stones, to be thrown 
either by the hand, or by engines far too weak 
to send them with any effect across such a 
stream. They had to look on quietly, there- 
fore, and allow these great and formidable prep 
arations for an attack upon them to go on with 
out interruption. Their only hope was to over- 
whelm the army with their missiles, and p-event 
their landing, when they should reach the bank 
at last in their attempt to cross the stream 

B.C. 217.J Passage op the Rhone 7& 

(rifficnltiefl of crossing a rtrer. Hannibal's tactics 

If an army is crossing a river without any 
enemy to oppose them, a moderate number of 
boats will serve, as a part of the army can be 
transported at a time, and the whole gradually 
transferred from one bank to the other by re 
peated trips of the same conveyances. But 
when there is an enemy to encounter at the 
landing, it is necessary to provide the means of 
carrying over a very large force at a time ; foi 
if a small division were to go over first alone, 
it would only throw itself, weak and defense- 
less, into the hands of the enemy. Hannibal, 
therefore, waited until he had boats, rafts, and 
floats enough constructed to carry over a force 
all together sufficiently numerous and powerful 
to attack the enemy with a prospect of success 

The Romans, as we have already remarked, 
say that Hannibal was cunning. He certainly 
was not disposed, like Alexander, to trust iu 
his battles to simple superiority of bravery and 
force, but was always contriving some strata- 
gem to increase the chances of victory. He 
did so m this case. He kept up for many days 
a prodigious parade and bustle of building boats 
and rafts in sight of his enemy, as if his sole 
reliance was on the multitude of men that he 
could pour across the river at a single transpor- 

BO Hannibal. [B.C. 217. 

HannibaT* *t>-atagem., Detachment under Hanno 

tation, and he thus kept their attention closely 
riveted upon these preparations. All this time, 
however, he had another plan in course of exe- 
cution. He had sent a strong body of troop? 
secretly up the river, with orders to make their 
way stealthily through the forests, and cross 
the stream some few miles above. This force 
was intended to move back from the river, as 
soon as it should cross the stream, and come 
down upon the enemy in the rear, so as to at- 
tack and harass them there at the same time 
that Hannibal was crossing with the main body 
of the army. If they succeeded in crossing the 
river safely, they were to build a fire in the 
woods, on the other side, in order that the col- 
umn of smoke which should ascend from it 
might serve as a signal of their success to Han- 

This detachment was commanded by an offi- 
cer named Hanno— of course a very different 
man from Hannibal's great enemy of that name 
in Carthage Hanno set out in the night, no\* 
ing back from the river, in commencing his 
march, so as to be entirely out of sight from 
the Gauls on the other side. He had some 
guides, belonging to the country, who promised 
to show him a convenient place for crossing 

JB.C.217.J Passage of the Rhone. 8] 

Success of Hanno. The iignal 

The party went up the river about twenty-five 
miles. Here they found a place where the wa- 
ter spread to a greater width, and where the 
current was less rapid, and the water not sc 
deep. They got to this place in silence and se- 
crecy, their enemies below not having suspect- 
ed any such design. As they had, therefore, 
nobody to oppose them, they could cross much 
more easily than the main army below. They 
made some rafts for carrying over those of the 
men that could not swim, and such munitions 
of war as would be injured by the wet. The 
-est of the men waded till they reached the 
channel, and then swam, supporting themselves 
in part by their bucklers, which they placed 
beneath their bodies in the water. Thus they 
all crossed in safety. They paused a day, to 
dry their clothes and to rest, and then moved 
cautiously down the river until they were near 
enough to Hannibal's position to allow their sig 
nal to be seen. The fire was then built, and 
they gazed with exultation upon the column of 
•moke which ascended from it high into the air 
Hannibal saw the signal, and now immedi- 
ately prepared to cross with his army. The 
horsemen embarked in boats, holding thek 
horses by lines, with a view of leadmg them 
14— "6 

82 Hannibal. [B.C.217 

Passage of the river. Scene of confusion 

into the water so that they might swim in com- 
pany with the boats. Other horses, bridled and 
8j3eoutered, were put into large flat-bottomed 
boats, to be taken across dry, in order that they 
might be all ready for service at the instant of 
landing. The most vigorous and efficient por- 
tion of the army were, of course, selected for 
the first passage, while all those who, for any 
cause, were weak or disabled, remained behind, 
with the stores and munitions of war, to be 
transported afterward, when the first passage 
should have been effected. All this time the 
enemy, on the opposite shore, were getting their 
ranks in array, and making every thing ready 
for a furious assault upon the invaders the mo 
ment they should approach the land. 

There was something like silence and order 
during the period while the men were embarking 
and pushing out from •'"he land, but as they ad- 
vanced intc the current, the loud commands, and 
shouts, and outcries increased more and more, 
and the rapidity of the current and of the eddie9 
by which the boats and rafts were hurried down 
the stream, or whirled against each other, soon 
produced a terrific scene of tumult and confu- 
sion. As soon as the first boats approached the 
land, the Gauls assembled to oppose them rush- 

B.C. 217.J Passage of the Rhone. 82 

Attack of Hanno. Flight of the Ganla 

ed down upon them with showers of missiles, 
and with those unearthly yells which barbarous 
warriors always raise in going into battle, as a 
means both of exciting themselves and of terri- 
fying their enemy. Hannibal's officers urged 
the boats on, and endeavored, with as much 
coolness and deliberation as possible, to effect a 
landing. It is perhaps doubtful how the con- 
test would have ended, had it not been for the 
detachment under Hanno, which now came 
suddenly intc action. While the Gauls were 
in the height of their excitement, in attempting 
to drive back the Carthaginians from the bank, 
they were thunderstruck at hearing the shouts 
and cries of an enemy behind them, and, on 
looking around, they saw the troops of Hanno 
pouring down upon them from the thickets 
with terrible impetuosity and force. It is very 
difficult for an army to fight both in front and 
in the rear at the same time. The Gauls, after 
a brief struggle, abandoned the attempt any 
longer to oppose Hannibal's landing. They fled 
djwn the river and back into the interior, leav- 
ing Hanno in secure possession of the bank 
while Hannibal and his forces came up at theii 
leisure out of the water, finding friends instead 
oi enemies to receive them. 

*4 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Transportation of the cli-phanta. Manner of doing it 

The remainder of the army, together with 
the stores and munitions of war, were next to 
be transported, and this was accomplished with 
little difficulty now that there was no enemy to 
disturb their operations. There was one pait 
of the force, however, which occasioned some 
trouble and delay. It was a body of elephants 
which formed a part of the army. How to get 
„hese unwieldy animals across so broad and rap- 
id a river was a question of no little difficulty 
There are various accounts of the manner in 
which Hannibal accomplished the object, from 
which it would seem that different methods 
were employed. One mode was as follows : 
the keeper of the elephants selected one more 
spirited and passionate in disposition than the 
rest, and contrived to teaze and torment him so 
as to make him angry. The elephant advanced 
toward his keeper with his trunk raised to take 
vengeance. The keeper fled ; the elephant pur- 
sued him, the other elephants of the herd fol- 
lowing, as is the habit of the animal on such 
occasions. The keeper ran into the water as 
if to elude his pursuer, while the elephant and 
a large part of the herd pressed on after him. 
The man swam into the channel, and the ele- 
phants, before they could check them* ,,r ^a 

H.C. 2 J 7.] J assage of the Rhone. 8* 

1 new plan. Huge rafta 

found that they were beyond their depth. Some 
swam on after the keeper, and crossed the river, 
where they were easily secured. Others, terri 
fied, abandoned themselves to the current,' and 
were floated down, struggling helplessly as they 
went, until at last they grounded upon shallows 
or points of land, whence they gained the shore 
again, some on one side of the stream and some 
on the other. 

This plan was thus only partially successful, 
and Hannibal devised a more effectual method 
for the remainder of the troop. He built an 
immensely large raft, floated it up to the shore, 
fastened it there securely, and covered it with 
earth, turf, and bushes, so as to make it resem- 
ble a projection of the land. He then caused a 
second raft to be constructed of the same size, 
and this he brought up to the outer edge of the 
other, fastened it there by a temporary connec- 
tion, and covered and concealed it as he had 
done the first. The first of these rafts extend- 
ed two hundred feet from the shore, and was 
fifty feet broad. The other, that is, the outer 
one, was only a little smaller. The soldiers 
then contrived to allure and drive the elephants 
over these rafts to the outer one, the animals 
imagining that they had not left the land The 

86 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

The elephants got safely orer. The reconnoitering parties 

two rafts were then disconnected from each 
other, and the outer one began to move with it> 
bulky passengers over the water, towed by a 
number of boats which had previously been at- 
tached to its outer edge. 

As soon as the elephants perceived the mo. 
tion, they were alarmed, and began immediate- 
ly to look anxiously this way and that, and tc 
crowd toward the edges of the raft which was 
conveying them away. They found themselves 
hemmed in by water on every side, and were 
terrified and thrown into confusion. Some 
were crowded off into the river, and were drift- 
ed down till they landed below. The rest soon 
became calm, and allowed themselves to be 
quietly ferried across the stream, when they 
found that all hope of escape and resistance 
were equally vain. 

In the mean t:me, while these events were 
occurring, the troop of three hundred, which 
Scipio had sent up the river to see what tidings 
he could learn of the Carthaginians, were slow 
iy making their way toward the point when 4 
Hannibal was crossing; and it happened thai 
Hannibal had sent down a troop of five hunired, 
when he first reached the river, to see if they 
oould learn any tidings of the Romans. Nei 

fS.C. 217. j Passage of the Rhone. 89 

The detachments meet A battle ensues 

ther of the armies had any idea how near they 
were to the other. The two detachments met 
suddenly and unexpectedly on the way. They 
vere sent to explore, and not to fight ; but as 
they were nearly equally matched, each was 
ambitious of the glory of capturing the others 
and carrying them prisoners to their camp. 
They fought a long and bloody battle. A great 
number were killed, and in about the same 
proportion on either side. The Romans say 
they conquered. We do not know what the 
Carthaginians said, but as both parties retreat- 
ed from the field and went back to their respect- 
ive camps, it is safe to infer that neither could 
boast of a very decisive victory. 

90 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

The Alps. Their sublimity and graadeui 

Chapter V. 

Hannibal crosses the Alps. 

|"T is difficult for any one who has not actual 
•*- ly seen such mountain scenery as is present- 
ed by the Alps, to form any clear conception 
of its magnificence and grandeur. Hannibal 
had never seen the Alps, but the world was 
filled then, as now with their fame. 

Some of the leading features of sublimity and 
grandeur which these mountains exhibit, result 
mainly from the perpetual cold which reigns 
upon their summits. This is owing simply to 
their elevation. In every part of the earth, as 
we ascend from the surface of the ground into 
the atmosphere, it becomes, for some mysteri- 
ous reason or other, more and more cold as wo 
rise, so that over our heads, wherever we ar$ 
there reigns, at a distance of two or three miles 
above us, an intense and perpetual cold. This 
is true not only in cool and temperate latitudes, 
but also in the most torrid regions of the globe 
If we were to ascend in a balloon at Borneo at 
midday, when the burning sun of the tropics 

B.C.217.] Crossing the Alps. 91 

Perpetual cold In the upper regions of the atmospnere. 

was directly over our heads, to an elevation of 
five or six miles, we should find that although 
we had been moving nearer to the sun all the 
time, its rays would have lost, gradually, all 
iiieir power. They would fall upon us as bright*- 
iy as ever, but their heat would be gone. They 
would feel like moonbeams, and we should be 
surrounded with an atmosphere as frosty as that 
of the icebergs of the frigid zone. 

It is from this region of perpetual cold that 
hail-stones descend upon us in the midst of sum- 
mer, and snow is continually forming and falling 
there ; but the light and fleecy flakes melt be- 
fore they reach the earth, so that, while the hail 
has such solidity and momentum that it forces 
its way through, the snow dissolves, and falls 
upon us as a cool and refreshing rain. Rain 
cools the air around us and the ground, because 
H comes from cooler regions of the air above. 

Now it happens that not only the summits, 
but extensive portions of the upper declivities of 
the Alps, rise into the region of perpetual win » 
tor. Of course, ice congeals continually there, 
and the snow which forms falls to the ground 
as snow, and accumulates in vast and perma- 
nent stores. The summit of Mount Blanc ia 
covered with a bed of snow of enormous thick- 

,92 Hannibal. [B.C. 2l> 

Aralanotos. Their terrible fort* 

ness, which is almost as much a permanent ge- 
ological stratum of the mountain as the granita 
which lies beneath it. 

Of course, during the winter months, the 
whole country of the Alps, valley as well as 
hll, is covered with snow. In the spring the 
snow melts in the valleys and plains, and high- 
er up it becomes damp and heavy with partial 
melting, and slides down the declivities in vast 
avalanches, which sometimes are of such enor- 
mous magnitude, and descend with such resist- 
less force, as to bring down earth, rocks, and 
even the trees of the forest in their train. On 
the higher declivities, however, and over all the 
rounded summits, the snow still clings to its 
place, yielding but very little to the feeble beams 
of the sun, even in July. 

There are vast ravines and valleys among the 
hightr Alps where the snow accumulates, being 
driven into them by winds and storms in the 
winter, and sliding into them, in great avalanch 
es, in the spring. These vast depositories of 
snow become changed into ice below the sur« 
face ; for at the surface there is a continual 
melting, and the water, flowing down througl 
the mass, freezes below. Thus there are val 
leys, or rather ravines, some of them two or 

B.C.217.] Crossing the Alps. 93 

The glaciers. Motion of the ioe 

three miles wide and ten or fifteen miles long, 
rilled with ice, transparent, solid, and blue, hun- 
dreds of feet in depth. They are called glaciers. 
And what is most astonishing in respect to these 
icy accumulations is that, though the ice is per- 
fectly compact and solid, the whole mass is found 
to be continually in a state of slow motion down 
the valley in which it lies, at the rate of about 
a foot in twenty-four hours. By standing upon 
the surface and listening attentively, we hear, 
from time to time, a grinding sound. The rocks 
which lie along the sides are pulverized, and are 
continually moving against each other and fall- 
ing ; and then, besides, which is a more direct and 
positive proof still of the motion of the mass, a 
mark may be set up upon the ice, as has been 
often done, and marks corresponding to it made 
upon the solid rocks on each side of the valley, 
and by this means the fact of the motion, and 
the exact rate of it, may be fully ascertained. 

Thus these valleys are really and literally 
rivers of ice, rising among the summits of the 
mountains, and flowing, slowly it is true, but 
with a continuous and certain current, to a sort 
of mouth in some great and open valley below. 
Here the streams which have flowed over the 
put face above, md descended into tha mass 

94 Hannibal. [B.C.217 

Crevices and chasms. Situation of the Alps 

through countless crevices and chasms, into 
which the traveler looks down with terror, con- 
centrate and issue from under the ice in a tur- 
bid torrent, which comes out from a vast arch- 
way made by the falling in of masses which the 
water has undermined. This lower end of the 
glacier sometimes presents a perpendicular wall 
hundreds of feet in height ; sometimes it crowds 
down into the fertile valley, advancing in some 
unusually cold summer into the cultivated coun- 
try, where, as it slowly moves on, it plows up 
the ground, carries away the orchards and fields, 
and even drives the inhabitants from the villa- 
ges which it threatens. If the next summer 
proves warm, the terrible monster slowly draws 
back its frigid head, and the inhabitants return 
to the ground it reluctantly evacuates, and at- 
tempt to repair the damage it has done. 

The Alps lie between France and Italy, and 
the great valleys and the ranges of mountain 
'and lie in such a direction that they must be 
crossed in order tc pass from one country to the 
v.ther. These ranges are, however, not regular 
They are traversed by innumerable chasms, 
fissures, and ravines ; in some places they rise 
in vast rounded summits and swells, covered 
with fields of spotbss snow ; in others they 

B.C. 217.] Crossing the Alps. 9* 

Roads over the Alps. Sublime scenery 

tower in lofty, needle-like peaks, which even 
the chamois can not scale, and where scarcely 
a flake of snow can find a place of rest. Around 
and among these peaks and summits, and 
through these frightful defiles and chasms, tho 
roads twist and turn, in a zigzag and constant- 
ly ascending course, creeping along the most 
frightful precipices, sometimes beneath them 
and sometimes on the brink, penetrating the 
darkest and gloomiest defiles, skirting the most 
impetuous and foaming torrents, and at last, 
perhaps, emerging upon the surface of a glacier, 
to be lost in interminable fields of ice and snow, 
where countless brooks run in glassy channels, 
and crevasses yawn, ready to take advantage 
of any slip which may enable them to take down 
the traveler into their bottomless abysses. 

And yet, notwithstanding the awful desola- 
tion which reigns in the upper regions of the 
\lps, the lower valleys, through which *he 
streams finally meander out into the open plains, 
and by which the traveler gains access to the 
sublimer scenes of the upper mountains, are in- 
expressibly verdant and beautiful. They are 
fertilized by the deposits of continual inunda- 
tions in the early spring, and the sun beats 
down into them with a genial warmth in sum- 

06 ANNIBAL. [B.C.2I7 

Beauty of tho Alpine icenery. Picturesque sceneTy 

mer, which brings out millions of flowers, of the 
most beautiful forms and colors, and ripens rap- 
idly the broadest and richest fields of grain 
Cottages, of every picturesque and beautiful 
form, tenanted by the cultivators^ the shepherds 
and the herdsmen, crown every little swell in 
the bottom of the valley, and cling to the decliv- 
ities of the mountains which rise on either hand. 
Above them eternal forests of firs and pines 
vrave, feathering over the steepest and most 
rocky slopes with their somber foliage. StiJ' 
higher, gray precipices ns«. and spires and pin- 
nacles, far grander and more picturesque, if not 
so symmetrically formed, than those construct- 
ed by man. Between these there is seen, here 
and there, in the background, vast towering 
masses of white and dazzling snow, which crown 
the summits of the loftier mountains beyond. 

Hannibal's determination to carry an army 
into Italy by way of the Alps, instead of trans- 
porting them by galleys over the sea, has al- 
ways been regarded as one of the greatest un- 
dertakings of ancient times. He hesitated for 
some time whether he should go down the 
Rhone, and meet and give battle to Scipio, or 
whether he should leave the Roman army to its 
course, and proceed himself directly toward th« 

B.C. 217.] Crossing the Alps. 97 

flannibal determines to cross the Alps. Hla army follow* 

Alps and Italy. The officers and soldiers of 
the army, who had now learned something of 
their destination and of their leader's plansj 
wanted to go and meet the Romans. They 
dreaded the Alps. They were willing to en- 
counter a military foe, however formidable, for 
this was a danger that they were accustomed 
to and could understand ; but their imagina- 
tions were appalled at the novel and awful im- 
ages they formed of falling down preoipioea of 
'agged rocks, or of gradually freezing, and be- 
ing buried half alive, during the process, in eter 
nal snows. 

Hannibal, when he found that his soldiers 
were afraid to proceed, called the leading por- 
tions of his army together, and made them an 
address. He remonstrated with them for yield- 
ing now to unworthy fears, after having suc- 
cessfully met and triumphed over such dangers 
as they had already incurred. " You have sui« 
mounted the Pyrenees," said he, "you have 
c rosso .1 the Rhone. You are now actually in 
sight of the Alps, which are the very gates of 
access to the country of the enemy. What do 
you conceive the Alps to be ? They are noth 
ing but high mountains, after all. Suppose 
thev »re higher than the Pyrenees, they do not 
i i — 7 

98 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Hannibal's speech to his army. Its effects 

reach to the skies ; and, since they do not, they 
can not be insurmountable. They are sur- 
mounted, in fact, every day ; they are even m« 
habited and cultivated, and travelers continual- 
ly pass over them to and fro. And what a sin- 
gle man can do, an army can do, for an army 
is only a large number of single men. In fact 
to a soldier, who has nothing to carry with him 
but the implements of war, no way can be too 
difficult to be surmounted by courage and en- 

After finishing his speech, Hannibal, finding 
his men reanimated and encouraged by what 
he had said, ordered them to go to x heir tents 
and refresh themselves, and prepare u, march on 
the following day. They made no further op- 
position to going on. Hannibal did not, how- 
ever, proceed at once directly toward the Alps. 
He did not know what the plans of Scipio might 
be, who, it will be recollected, was below him, 
on the Rhone, with the Roman army. He did 
not wish to waste his time and his strength in 
a oontest with Scipio in Gaul, but to press on 
and get across the Alps into Italy as suon as 
possible. And so, fearing lest Scipio shouM 
strike across the country, and intercept hin? if 
he should attempt to go by the most diiect 

B.C 217.J Crossing the Alps. M 

gcipio moves after Hannibal. Sad vestigea. 

route, he determined to move northwardly, up 
the River Rhone, till he should get well into 
^he interior, with a view of reaching the Alps 
ultimately by a more circuitous journey. 

It was, in fact, the plan of Scipio to come up 
with Hannibal and attack him as soon as possi- 
ble ; and, accordingly, as soon as his horsemen or, 
rather, those who were left alive after the battle 
had returned and informed him that HanmbaJ 
and his army were near, he put his camp in Mo- 
tion and moved rapidly up the river. He arrived 
ai the place where the Carthaginians had crossed 
a few days after they had gone. The spot was 
in a terrible state of ruin and confusion. The 
grass and herbage were trampled down foi the 
circuit of a mile, and all over the space wore 
spots of black and smouldering remains, where 
the camp-fires had been kindled. The tops ind 
branches of trees lay every where around, their 
leaves withering in the sun, and the groves and 
forests were encumbered with limbs, and reject 
ed trunks, and trees felled and left where the) 
lay. The shore was lined far down the stream 
with ruins of boats and rafts, with weapons 
which had been lost or abandoned, and with the 
bodies of those who had been drowned in the 
passage, or killed in the contest on the shore 

100 Han nib xl. [B.C :U7 

Perplexity of Scipio He saili back to Italy 

These and numerous other vestiges remained 
but the army was gone. 

There were, however, upon the ground 
groups of natives and other visitors, who had 
come to look at the spot now destined to become 
so memorable in history. From these men 
Scipio learned when and where Hannibal had 
gone. He decided that it \\*as useless to at- 
tempt to pursue him. He wa$ greatly perplex- 
ed to know what to do. In the casting of lots, 
Spain had fallen to him, but now that the great 
enemy whom he had come forth to meet had 
left Spain altogether, his only hope of intercept- 
ing his progress was to sail back into Italy, and 
meet him as he came down from the Alps into 
the great valley of the Po. Still, as Spain had 
been assigned to him as his province, he could 
not well entirely abandon it. He accordingly 
sent forward the largest part of his army into 
Spain, to attack the forces that Hannibal had 
left there, while he himself, with a smaller 
force, went down to the sea-shore and sa'led 
back to Italy again. He expected to find Ro- 
man forces in the valley of the Po, with whioh 
tie hoped to be strong enough to meet Hanni- 
bal as he descended from the mountains, if he 
should succeed in effecting a passage over them 

B.C. 217 J Crossing the Alps. 101 

Hannibal approaches the Alps. A dangerous defile 

In the mean time Hannibal went en, draw- 
ing nearer and nearer to the ranges of snowy 
summits which his soldiers had seen for many 
days in their eastern horizon. These ranges 
were very resplendent and grand when the sun 
went down in the west, for then it shone di- 
rectly upon them. As the army approached 
nearer and nearer to them, they gradually with- 
drew from sight and disappeared, being con- 
cealed by intervening summits less lofty, but 
nearer. As the soldiers went on, however, and 
began to penetrate the valleys, and draw near 
to the awful chasms and precipices among the 
mountains, and saw the turbid torrents descend- 
ing from them, their fears revived. It was, how- 
ever, now too late to retreat. They pressed for- 
ward, ascending continually, till their road grew 
extremely precipitous and insecure, threading 
its way through almost impassable defiles, with 
rugged cliffs overhanging them, and snowy sum- 
mits towering all around. 

At last they came to a narrow defile through 
which they must necessarily pass, but which 
was guarded by large bodies of armed men as- 
sembled on the rocks and precipices above, ready 
to hurl stones and weapons of every kind upor 
them if they should attempt to pass through 

102 Hannibal. [13.C. 21? 

The army encamps. The mcontaineere 

The army halted. Hannibal ordered them to 
encamp where they were, until he could consid- 
er what to do. In the course of the day ha 
learned that the mountaineers did not remain 
at their elevated posts during the night, on ao* 
»;ount of the intense cold and exposure, know- 
ing, too, that it would be impossible for an army 
to traverse such a pass as they were attempt- 
ing to guard without daylight to guide them 
for the road, or rather pathway, which passes 
through these denies, follows generally the course 
of a mountain torrent, which flows through a 
succession of frightful ravines and chasms, and 
often passes along on a shelf or projection of the 
rock, hundreds and sometimes thousands of feet 
from the bed of the stream, which foams and 
roars far below. There could, of course, be no 
hope of passing safely by such a route without 
the light of day. 

The mountaineers, therefore, knowing that it 
was not necessary to guard the pass at night — 
its own terrible danger being then a sufficient pro- 
tection — were accustomed to disperse in the even 
ing, and descend to regions where they could find 
shelter and repose, and to return and renew their 
watch in the morning. When Hannibal learned 
this, he determined to anticipate them in getting 

B.C.217.] Crossing the Alps. 103 

Hannibal'i stratagem. Ita raccesi. 

up upon the rocks the next day, and, in order to 
prevent their entertaining any suspicion of his 
design ; he pretended to be making all the ar- 
rangements for encamping for the night on the 
ground he had taken. He accordingly pitched 
more tents, and built, toward evening, a great 
many fires, and he began some preparations in- 
dicating that it was his intention the next day 
to force his way through the pass. He moved 
forward a strong detachment up to a point near 
the entrance to the pass, and put them in a for- 
tified position there, as if to have them all ready 
to advance when the proper time should arrive 
on the following day. 

The mountaineers, seeing all these prepara- 
tions going on, looked forward to a conflict on 
the morrow, and, during the night, left their 
positions as usual, to descend to places of shel- 
ter. The next morning, however, when they 
began, at an early hour, to ascend to them again, 
they were astonished to find all the lofty rocks, 
and cliffs, and shelving projections which over- 
hung the pass, covered with Carthaginians 
Hannibal had aroused a strong body of his men 
at the earliest dawn, and led them up> by steep 
climbing, to the places which the mountaineers 
nad left, so as to be there before them. The 

104 Hannibal. ;B.C.217 

Astonishment of the mountaineers. Terrible conflict in the defile 

mountaineers paused, astonished, at this spec- 
tacle, and their disappointment and rage were 
much increased on looking down into the val 
ley below, and seeing there the remainder of 
the Carthaginian army quietly moving through 
the pass in a long train, safe apparently from 
any molestation, since friends, and not enemies, 
were now in possession of the cliffs above. 

The mountaineers could not restrain their 
feelings of vexation and anger, but immediately 
rushed down the declivities which they had in 
part ascended, and attacked the army in the de- 
file. An awful scene of struggle and confusion 


ensued. Some were killed by weapons or by 
rocks rolled down upon them. Others, contend- 
ing together, and struggli g desperately in pla- 
ces of very narrow foothold, tumbled headlong 
down the rugged rocks into the torrent below ; 
and horses, laden with baggage and stores, be- 
came frightened and unmanageable, and crowd- 
ed each Dther over the most frightful precipices. 
Hannibal, who was above, on the higher rocks, 
looked down upon this scene for a time with 
the greatest anxiety and terror. He did not 
dare to descend himself and mingle in the affray, 
for fear of increasing the confusion. He soon 
found, however, that it was absolutely neoessa 

B.C. 217.] Crossing the Alps. 10* 

Attack of HannibaL The mountaineer* defeated. 

ry for him to interpose, and he came down as 
rapidly as possible, his detachment with him, 
They desoended by oblique and zigzag paths, 
wherever they could get footing among the rocks, 
and attacked the mountaineers with great fury 
The result was, as he had feared, a great in- 
crease at first of the confusion and the slaugh- 
ter. The horses were more and more terrified 
by the fresh energy of the combat, and by the 
resounding of louder shouts and cries, which 
were made doubly terrific by the echoes and 
reverberations of the mountains. They crowd- 
ed against each other, and fell, horses and men 
together, in masses, over the cliffs to the rugged 
rocks below, where they lay in confusion, some 
dead, and others dying, writhing helplessly in 
agony, or vainly endeavoring to crawl away. 

The mountaineers were, however, conquered 
and driven away at last, and the pass was left 
clear. The Carthaginian column was restored 
to order. The horses that had not fallen weij 
calmed and quieted. The baggage which had 
been thrown down was gathered up, and the 
WDunded men were placed on litters, rudely con- 
tftructed Dn the spot, that they might be borne 
on to a place of safety. In a short time all were 
ready to move on, and the march was accord 

106 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

The army pause* to refresh. Scarcity of food 

ingly recommenced. There was no further dif- 
ficulty. The column advanced in a quiet and 
orderly manner until they had passed the defile. 
At the extremity of it they came to a spacious 
fort belonging to the natives. Hannibal took 
possession of this fort, and paused for a little 
time there to rest and refresh his men. 

One of the greatest difficulties encountered 
by a general in conducting an army through 
difficult and dangerous roads, is that of provid- 
ing food for them. An army can transport its 
own food only a very little way. Men travel- 
ing over smooth roads can only carry provisions 
for a few days, and where the roads are as dif- 
ficult and dangerous as the passes of the Alps, 
they can scarcely carry any. The commander 
must, accordingly, find subsistence in the coun- 
try through which he is marching. Hannibal 
had, therefore, now not only to look out for the 
safety of his men, but their food was exhausted, 
and he must take immediate measures to secure 
a supply. 

The lower slopes of lofty mountains afford 
usually abundant sustenance for flocks and 
herds. The showers which are continually fall- 
ing there, and the moisture which comes dowc 
the sides of the mountains through the ground 

B.C.217.] Crossing the Alps. 107 

Herds and flocks upon the mountains. Foraging parties 

keep the turf perpetually green, and sheep and 
cattle love to pasture upon it; they climb to 
great heights, finding the herbage finer and 
sweeter the higher they go. Thus the inhab- 
itants of mountain ranges are almost always 
shepherds and herdsmen. Grain can be raised 
in the valleys below, but the slopes of the mount- 
ains, though they produce grass to perfection, 
are too steep to be tilled. 

As soon as Hannibal had got established in 
the fort, he sent around small bodies of men to 
seize and drive in all the cattle and sheep that 
they could find. These men were, of course, 
armed, in order that they might be prepared to 
meet any resistance which they might encoun- 
ter. The mountaineers, however, did not at- 
tempt to resist them. They felt that they were 
conquered, and they were accordingly disheart 
encd and discouraged. The only mode of saving 
their cattle which was left to them, was to drive 
them as fast as they could into concealed and 
inaccessible places. They attempted to do this, 
and while Hannibal's parties were ranging up 
the valleys all around them, examining every 
field, and barn, and sheepfold that they could 
find, the wretched and despairing inhabitants 
were flying in all directions, driving the cows 

1U8 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Collecting cattle. Progress of the army 

and sheep, on which their whole hope of sub- 
sistence depended, into the fastnesses of the 
mountains. They urged them into wild thick 
9ts, and dark ravines and chasms, and over dan 
gerous glaciers, and up the steepest ascents, 
wherever there was the readiest prospect of get* 
ting them out of the plunderer's way. 

These attempts, however, to save their little 
property were but very partially successful. 
Hannibal's marauding parties kept coming 
home, one after another, with droves of sheep 
and cattle before them, some larger and some 
smaller, but making up a vast amount in all. 
Hannibal subsisted his men three days on the 
food thus procured for them. It requires an 
enormous store to feed ninety or a hundred 
thousand men, even for three days ; besides, in 
all such cases as this, an army always waste 
and destroy far more than they really consume. 

During these three days the army was not 
stationary, but was moving slowly on. The 
way, though still difficult and dangerous, wag 
at least open before them, as there was now nu 
enemy to dispute their passage. So they went 
on, rioting upon the abundant supplies they had 
obtained, and rejoicing in the double victory 
they were gaining, over the hostility' of the peo- 

B.C.217] Crossing the Alps. 10S 

Canton*. An ecnbaiiage 

pie and the physical clangers and difficulties of 
the way. The poor mountaineers returned tc 
their cabins ruined and desolate, for mountain- 
eers who have lost their cows and their sheep 
have lost their all. 

The Alps are not all in Switzerland. Some 
of the most celebrated peaks and ranges are in 
a neighboring state called Savoy. The whole 
country is, in fact, divided into small states, 
called cantons at the present day, and similar 
political divisions seen* to have existed in the 
time of the Romans.' In his march onward 
from the pass whid^ias been already described, 
Hannibal, accorJPJjly, soon approached the 
confines of another canton. As he was advanc- 
ing slowly into it^with the long train of his 
army winding up ^fith him through the valleys, 
he was met at the borders of this new state b 
an embassage sent from the government of it. 
They brought with them fresh stores of provis- 
ions, and a number of guides. They said thai 
they had heard of the terrible destruction which 
had come upon the other canton in consequence 
of their effort to oppose his progress, and that 
they had no intention of renewing so vain an at- 
tempt They came, therefore, they said, to of- 
fer Hannibal their friendship and their aid 

110 Hannibal [B.C. 217 

Hostage*. Hannibal s suspicion* 


They had brought guides to show the army the 
best way over the mountains, and a present of 
provisions ; and to prove the sincerity of their 
professions they offered Hannibal hostages. £ 
These hostages were young men and boys, tKe-?- 
sons of the principal inhabitants, whom tlfgy" 
offered to deliver into Hannibal's power, #b2fe 
Kept by him until he should see that they were 
faithful and true in doing what they offered. 

Hannibal was so accustomed to stratagem 
and treachery himself, Aat he^as at first very 
much at a loss to ^guft whether these offers 
and professions were iTSMk and sincere,- or 
whether they were only.i^^HJo put him off his , 
guard. He thought itoossjbB that it was their 
design to induce him tfeiacJmmiself un^r their 
jplirection^so that tbey rMyjimpj him into some 
^an2fe*fous defile or labyrinth oTWHEs-fnGm which 
hCjConld notrextfcidate Jjimself, and were they 
3oS$ attefck and ilestroJ| him. He, however, do- 
[.'•jileckto return them aiavorabie answer, but tc 
Vi tvitch*vthem very carefully, and to proceed, un- 
der their guidance with the utmost' caution and 
jare He accepted of the provisions they of- 
fered, and took the hostages. These last he de- 
livered into the custody of a body of his soldiers 
and they marched on with the rest of the armv 

BC 217.] Crossing the Alps. 1 L3 

rreachery of the mountaineers. They attack Hannibal 

Then, directing the new guides to lead the way, 
the army moved on after them. The elephants 
went first, with a moderate force for their protec- 
tion preceding and accompanying them. Then 
came long trains of horses and mules, loaded 
with military stores and baggage, and finally 
the foot soldiers followed, marching irregularly 
in a long column. The whole train must have 
extended many miles, and must have appeared 
from any of the eminences around like an 
enormous serpent, winding its way tortuously 
through the wild and desolate valleys. 

Hannibal was right in his suspicions Tha 
embassage was a stratagem. The men who 
sent it had laid an ambuscade in a very narrow 
pass, concealing their forces in thickets and in 
chasms, and in nooks and corners among the 
ragged rocks, and when the guides had led the 
army well into the danger, a sudden signal was 
given, and these concealed enemies rushed down 
upon them in great numbers, breaking into their 
ranks, and renewing the scene of terrible uproar, 
tumult, and destruction which had been wit* 
nessed in the other defile. One would have 
thought that the elephants, being bo unwieldy 
and so helpless in such a scene, would have beem 

the first objects of attack. But it was not wx 


114 HANNIBAL. t B.C.217 

rhe elephants. Hannibal's army divided 

The mountaineers were afraid of them. They 
had never seen such animals before, and they 
felt for them a mysterious awe, not knowing 
what terrible powers such enormous beasts might 
be expected to wield. They kept away frcm 
them, therefore, and from the horsemen, and 
poured down upon the head of the column of 
foot soldiers which followed in the rear. 

They were quite successful at the first onset. 
They broke through the head of the column, 
and drove the rest back. The horses and ele- 
phants, in the mean time, moved forward, bear- 
ing the baggage with them, so that the two por- 
tions of the army were soon entirely separated. 
Hannibal was behind, with the soldiers. The 
mountaineers made good their position, and, as 
night came on, the contest ceased, for in such 
wilds as these no one can move at all, except 
with the light of day. The mountaineers, how- 
ever, remained in their place, dividing the army, 
and Hannibal continued, during the night, in a 
state of great suspense and anxiety, with th$ 
elephants and the baggage separated from him 
and apparently ac the mercy of the enemy. 

During the night he made vigorous prepara- 
tions for attacking the mountaineers the next 
day As so n as thft morning light appeared, 

B.C.217.] Crossing the Alps. 115 

Hannibal's attack on the mountaineers. They embarrass hLs march, 

he made the attack, and he succeeded in driving 
the enemy away, so far, at least, as to allow 
him to get his army together again. He then 
began once more to move on. The mountain - 
sers, however, hovered about his way, and did 
aL they could to molest and embarrass his 
march. They concealed themselves in ambus- 
cades, and attacked the Carthaginians as they 
passed. They rolled stones down upon them, 
or discharged spears and arrows from eminen- 
ces above ; and if any of Hannibal's army be- 
came, from any reason, detached from the rest, 
they would cut off their retreat, and then take 
them prisoners or destroy them. Thus they 
gave Hannibal a great deal of trouble. The} 
harassed his march continually, without pre- 
senting at any point a force which he could 
meet and encounter in battle. Of course, Han- 
nibal could no longer trust to his guides, and he 
was obliged to make his way as he best could, 
sometimes right, but often wrong, and exposed 
tc a thousand difficulties and dangers, which 
those acquainted with the country might have 
easily avoided. All this time the mountaineers 
were continually attacking him, in bands like 
those of robbers, sometimes in the ran, and some- 
times in the rear, wherever the nature of the 

116 Hannibal. [B.C. 217. 

Hannibal's indomitable perseverance. He encamps. 

ground or the circumstances of the marching 
army afforded them an opportunity. 

Hannibal persevered, however, through all 
these discouragements, protecting his men as 
far as it was in his power, but pressing earn- 
estly on, until in nine days he reached the sum- 
mit. By the summit, however, is not meant 
the summit of the mountains, but the summit 
of the pass, that is, the highest point which it 
was necessary for him to attain in going over. 
In all mountain ranges there are depressions, 
which are in Switzerland called ?iecks* and the 
pathways and roads over the ranges lie always 
in these. In America, such a depression in a 
ridge of land, if well marked and decided, is 
called a notch. Hannibal attained the highest 
point of the col, by which he was to pass over, 
in nine days after the great battle. There 
were, however, of course, lofty peaks and sum- 
mits towering still far above him. 

He encamped here two days to rest and re- 
fresh his. men. The enemy no longer molested 
him. In fact, parties were continually coming 
into the camp, of men and horses, that had got 
lost, or had been left in the valleys below. 

* The French word is col. Thus, there is the Col de Balme, 
tha Col de Geant, &c. 

B.C. 217.J Crossing the Alps. 117 

Return of straggling parties. Dreary scenery of the summit 

They came in slowly, some wounded, other* 
exhausted and spent by fatigue and exposure. 
In some cases horses came in alone. They were 
horses that had slipped or stumbled, and falle 1 
among the rocks, or had sunk down exhausted 
by their toil, and had thus been left behind, and 
afterward recovering their strength, had fol- 
lowed on, led by a strange instinct to keep to 
the tracks which their companions had made, 
and thus they rejoined the camp at last in safety 
In fact, one great reason for Hannibal's de- 
lay at his encampment on or near the summit 
of the pass, was to afford time for all the miss- 
ing men to join the army again, that had the 
power to do so. Had it not been for this ne- 
cessity, he would doubtless have descended some 
distance, at least, to a more warm and sheltered 
position before seeking repose. A more gloomy 
and desolate resting-place than the summit of 
an Alpine pass can scarcely be found. The 
bare and barren rocks are entirely destitute of 
vegetation, and they have lost, besides, the sub- 
lime and picturesque forms which they assume 
further below. They spread in vast, naked 
fields in every direction around the spectator, 
rising in gentle ascents, bleak and dreary, the 
surface whitened as if bleached by the perpet> 

118 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Storms in the mountains. A dreary encampment 

ual rains. Storms are, in fact, almost perpet- 
ual in these elevated regions. The vast cloud 
which, to the eye of the shepherd in the valley 
below, seems only a fleecy cap, resting serenely 
upon the summit, or slowly floating along the 
sides, is really a driving mist, or cold and stormy 
rain, howling dismally over interminable fields 
of broken rocks, as if angry that it can make 
nothing grow upon them, with all its watering 
Thus there are seldom distant views to be ob- 
tained, and every thing near presents a scene 
of simple dreariness and desolation. 

Hannibal's soldiers thus found themselves in 
the midst of a dismal scene in their lofty en- 
campment. There is one special source of dan- 
ger, too, in such places as this, which the low- 
er portions of the mountains are less exposed to, 
and that is the entire obliteration of the path- 
way by falls of snow. It seems almost absurd 
to speak of pathway in such regions, where 
there is no turf to be worn, and the boundlrss 
fields of rocks, ragged and hard, will take no 
traoe of footsteps. There are, however, gener- 
ally some faint traces of way, and wheie these 
fail entirely the track is sometimes indicated by 
small piles of stones, placed at intervals along 
the line of route. An unpraoticed eye would 

B.C.217.] Crossing the Alps. 119 

Landmarks. A mow storm 

scarcely distinguish these little landmarks, in 
many cases, from accidental heaps of 
which lie every where around. They, howev- 
er, render a very essential service to the guidss 
%nd to the mountaineers, who have been accus- 
tomed to conduct their steps by similar aids iu 
other portions of the mountains. 

But when snow begins to fall, all these and 
every other possible means of distinguishing the 
way are soon entirely obliterated. The whole 
surface of the ground, or, rather, of the rocks, 
is covered, and all landmarks disappear. The 
little monuments become nothing but slight in- 
equalities in the surface of the snow, undistin- 
guishable from a thousand others. The air is 
thick and murky, and shuts off alike all distant 
prospects, and the shape and conformation of 
the land that is near ; the bewildered traveler 
has not even the stars to guide him, as there is 
nothing but dark, falling flakes, descending from 
an impenetrable canopy of stormy clouds, to be 
seen in the sky. 

Hannibal encountered a snow storm while on 
the summit of the pass, and his army were very 
much terrified by it. It was now November. 
The army had met with so many detentions 
and delays that their journey had been protract* 

[20 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

The army resumes its march. Hannibal among the pioneer* 

ed to a late period. It would be unsafe to at- 
tempt to wait till this snow should melt again. 
As soon, therefore, as the storm ended, and the 
jl>ads cleared away, so as to allow the men tc 
see the general features of the country around, 
the camp was broken up and the army put in 
motion. The soldiers marched through the snow 
with great anxiety and fear. Men went be- 
fore to exploro the way, and to guide the rest 
by flags and banners which they bore. Those 
who went first made paths, of course, for those 
who followed behind, as the snow was tram 
pled down by their footsteps. Notwithstanding 
these aids, however, the army moved on very 
laboriously and with much fear. 

At length, however, after descending a short 
distance, Hannibal, perceiving that they must 
soon come in sight of the Italian valleys and 
plains which lay beyond the Alps, went forward 
among the pioneers, who had charge of the ban- 
ners by which the movements of the army wer«* 
directed, and, as soon as the open country be- 
gan to come into view, he selected a spot where 
t^d widest prospect was presented, and nalted 
H« army there to let them take a view of the 
,-autiful country which now lay before them. 
'J tie Alps are very precipitous on the Italian 

B.C. 2i7.] Crossing the Alps. 12) 

First sight of Italy. Joy of the army. Hannibal's speech 

side. The descent is very sudden, from the cold 
and icy summits, to a broad expanse of the most 
luxariant and sunny plains. Upon these olains, 
which were spread out in a most enchanting 
Landscape at their feet, Hannibal and Lis sol- 
diers now looked down with exultation and de- 
light. Beautiful lakes, studded with still more 
beautiful islands, reflected the beams of the sun. 
An endless succession of fields, in sober autum- 
nal colors, with the cottages of the laborers and 
Hacks of grain scattered here and there upon 
them, and rivers meandering through verdant 
meadows, gave variety and enchantment to the 

Hannibal made an address to his officers and 
men, congratulating them on having arrived, at 
last, so near to a successful termination of their 
to^s. " The difficulties of the way," he said, 
"are at last surmounted, and these mighty bar- 
riers that we have scaled are the walls, not only 
of Italy, but of Rome itself. Since wo have 
jessed the Alps, the Romans will have no pro- 
tection against us remaining. It is only one 
battle, when we get down upon the plains, or 
at most two, and the great city itself will be 
entirely at our disposal." 

The whole army were much animated and 

122 Hannibal. |B.C. 217 

fatigues of the march. New difficulties 

encouraged, both by the prospect whLh present- 
ed itself to their view, and by the words of Han- 
nibal. They prepared for the descent, antici- 
pating little difficulty ; but they found, on re- 
>>mmencing their march, that their troubles 
f/ere by no means over. The mountains are 
far steeper on the Italian side than on the other, 
and it was extremely difficult to find paths by 
which the elephants and the horses, and even 
the men, could safely descend. They moved on 
for some time with great labor and fatigue, un- 
til, at length, Hannibal, looking on before, found 
that the head of the coJumn had stopped, and 
the whole train behind was soon jammed to- 
gether, the ranks halting along the way in suc- 
cession, as they found their path blocked up by 
the halting of those before them. 

Hannibal sent forward to ascertain the cause 
of the difficulty, and found that the van of the 
army had reached a precipice lown which it 
was impossible to descend. It was necessary 
to make a circuit in hopes of finding some prac- 
ticable way of getting down. The guides and 
pioneers went on, leading the army after them, 
tnd soon got upon a glacier which lay in their 
wa.) There was fresh snow upon the surface, 
covering the ice and concealing the crevasses. 

BC.217.] Crossing the Alps. 123 

March over the glacier. A formidable barrtaf 

as they are termed — that is, the great cracks 
and fissures which extend in the glaciers down 
through the body of the ice. The army moved 
on, trampling down the new snow, and making 
at first a good road- way by their footsteps ; but 
very soon the old ice and snow began to be 
trampled up by the hoofs of the horses and the 
heavy tread of such vast multitudes of armed 
men. It softened to a great depth, and made 
the work of toiling through it an enormous la- 
bor. Besides, the surface of the ice and snow 
sloped steeply, and the men and beasts were 
continually falling or sliding down, and getting 
swallowed up in avalanches which their own 
weight set in motion, or in concealed crevasses 
where they sank to rise no more. 

They, however, made some progress, though 
slowly, and with great danger. They at last 
got below the region of the snow, but here they 
encountered new difficulties in the abruptness 
and ruggedness of the rocks, and in the zigzag 
and tortuous direction of the way. At last they 
came to a spot where their further progress ap- 
peared to be entirely oat off by a large mass of 
rock, which it seemed necessary to remove in 
order to widen the passage sufficiently to allow 
them to go on. The Roman historian says that 

124 Hann.bal. [B.C. 21? 

Hannibal cuts hi* way through the rocks. 

Hannibal removed these rocks by building great 
fires upon them, and then pouring on vinegar, 
which opened seams and fissures in them, by 
means of which the rocks could bo split and 
pried to pieces with wedges and crowbars. On 
reading this account, the mind naturally pauses 
to consider the probability of its being true. As 
they had no gunpowder in those days, they were 
compelled to resort to some such method as the 
one above described for removing rocks. There 
are some species of rock which are easily crack- 
ed and broken by the action of fire. Others re- 
sist it. There seems, however, to be no reason 
obvious why vinegar should materially assist in 
the operation. Besides, we can not suppose 
that Hannibal could have had, at such a time 
and place, any very large supply of vinegar on 
hand. On the whole, it is probable that, if any 
such operation was performed at all, it was on 
a very small scale, and the results must have 
been very insignificant at the time, though the 
fact has since been greatly celebrated in history. 
In coming over the snow, and in descending 
the rocks immediately below, the army, and es- 
pecially the animals connected with it, suffered 
a great deal from hunger. It was difficult to 
procure forage for them of anv kind. At 

B.C. 217.] Crossing the Alps. 126 

The army in safety on the plaina of Italy. 

length, however, as they continued their de- 
scent, they came first into the region of forests, 
and soon after to slopes of grassy fields descend- 
ing into warm and fertile valleys. Here the 
inimals were allowed to stop and rest, and ro- 
oew their strength by abundance of food. The 
'Jien rejoiced that their toils and dangers were 
over, and, descending easily the remainder of 
the way, they encamped at last safely on the 
plains of Italy. 

12(5 Hannibal. [J5<:.:il7 

Miserable condition of the army. Ita great lotnw 

Chapter VL 

Hannibal in the North of Italy. 

¥7¥7"HEN Hannibal's army found themselves 
* * on the plains of Italy, and sat down qui- 
stly to repose, they felt the effects of their fa- 
tigues and exposures far more sensibly than 
they had done under the excitement which they 
naturally felt while actually upon the mount- 
ains. They were, in fact, in a miserable con- 
dition. Hannibal told a Roman officer whom 
he afterward took prisoner that more than thir- 
ty thousand perished on the way in crossing the 
mountains ; some in the battles which were 
fought in the passes, and a greater number still, 
probably, from exposure to fatigue and cold, and 
from falls among the rocks and glaciers, and 
diseases produced by destitution and misery. 
The remnant of the army which was left on 
reaching the plain were emaciated, sickl) , rag- 
ged, and spiritless; far more inclined to v it 
down and die, than to go on and undertake the 
conquest of Italy and Rome. 

After some days, however, they began to re- 
oruit Although they had been half starved 

B.C. 217.] Hannibal in Italy. 127 

Feelings of Hannibal's soldiers. Pians of Scipio 

among the mountains, they had now plenty of 
wholesome food. They repaired their tattered 
garments and their broken weapons. They 
talked with one another about the terrific scenes 
through which they had been passing, and the 
dangers which they had surmounted, and thus, 
gradually strengthening their impressions of the 
greatness of the exploits they had performed, 
they began soon to awaken in each other's 
breasts an ambition to go on and undertake the 
accomplishment of other deeds of daring and 

We left Scipio with his army at the mouth 
of the Rhone, about to set sail for Italy with a 
part of his force, while the rest of it was sent 
on toward Spain. Scipio sailed along the coast 
by Genoa, and thence to Pisa, where he landed. 
He stopped a little whila to recruit nls soldiers 
after the voyage, and in the mean time sent or- 
ders to all the Roman forces then in the north 
of Italy to join his standard. He hoped in this 
way to collect a force strong enough to enccruv 
ter Hannibal. These arrangements being made 
he marched to the northward as rapidly as pos- 
sible. He knew in wh^t condition Hannibal's 
army had descended from the Alps, and wished 
to attack them before tbev should have time to 

128 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Tbe armies approach each other. Feelings of Hannibal and Sclpio 

recover from the effects of their privations and 
sufferings. He reached the Po before he ?aw 
any thing of Hannibal. 

Hannibal, in the mean tirrs, was not idle.. 
As soon as his men were in a condition to move, 
he began to act upon the tribes that he found at 
the foot of the mountains, offering his friendship 
to some, and attacking others. He thus con- 
quered those who attempted to resist him, mov- 
ing, all the time / gradually southward toward 
the Po. That river has numerous branches, and 
among them is one named the Ticinus. It was 
on the banks of this river that the two armies 
at last came together. 

Both generals must have felt some degree of 
solicitude in respect to the result of the contest 
which was about to take place. Scipio knew 
very well Hannibal's terrible efficiency as a war 
rior, and he was himself a general of great dis 
tinction, and a Roman, so that Hannibal had nn 
reason to anticipate a very easy victory. What* 
over doubts or fears, however, general officers 
may feel on the eve of an engagement, it is al- 
ways considered very necessary to conceal them 
entirely from l£ie men, and to animate and en 
courage the troops with a most undoubting con- 
fidence that they will gain the victory. 

B.C-.217.] Hannibal in Italy. 129 

Address of Scipio to the Roman army. 

Both Hannibal and Scipio, accordingly, made 
addresses to their respective armies — at least so 
say the historians of those times — each rne ex- 
pressing to his followers the certainty that the 
other side would easily be beaten. The speech 
attributed to Scipio was somewhat as follows : 

" I wish to say a few words to you, soldiers, 
before we go into battle. It is, perhaps, scarce 
ly necessary. It certainly would not be neces- 
sary if I had now under my command the same 
troops that I took with me to the mouth of the 
Rhone. They knew the Carthaginians there, 
and would not have feared them here. A body 
of our horsemen met and attacked a larger body 
of theirs, and defeated them. We then advanced 
with our whole force toward their encampment, 
in order to give them battle. They, however, 
abandoned the ground and retreated before we 
reached the spot, acknowledging, by their flight, 
their own fear and our superiority. If you had 
been with us there, and had witnessed these 
facts, there would have been no need that I 
should say any thing to convince you now how 
easily you are going to defeat this Carthaginian 

" We have had a war with this same nation 

before. We conquered them then, both by land 

130 Hannibal. [B.C. 217. 

Address of Scipio to the Roman army. 

and sea ; and when, finally, peace was made, we 
required them to pay us tribute, and we contiu- 
ned to exact it from them for twenty years 
They are a conquered nation ; and now this 
miserable army has forced its way insanely over 
the Alps, just to throw itself into our hands 
They meet us reduced in numbers, and exhaust- 
ed in resources and strength. More than half 
of their army perished in the mountains, and 
those that survive are weak, dispirited, ragged, 
and diseased. And yet they are compelled to 
meet us. If there was any chance for retreat, 
or any possible way for them to avoid the ne- 
cessity of a battle, they would avail themselves 
of it. But there is not. They are hemmed in 
by the mountains, w r hich are now, to them, an 
impassable wall, for they have not strength to 
scale them again. They are not real enemies ; 
they are the mere remnants and shadows of en- 
emies. They are wholly disheartened and dis- 
couraged, their strength and energy, both of 
soul and body, being spent and gone, through 
the cold, the hunger, and the squalid misery 
they have endured. Their joints are benumbed, 
their sinews stiffened, and their forms emaoia- 
ted. Their armor is shattered and broken, theii 
horses are lamed, and all their equipments worn 

B.C. 217.] Hannibal in Italy. 131 

Hannibal's ingenious method of introducing his speech. 

out and ruined, so that really what most T fear 
is that the world will refuse us the glory of tho 
victory, and say that it was the Alps that con- 
quered Hannibal, and not the Roman army. 

" Easy as the victory is to be, however, we 
must remember that there ^s a great deal at 
stake in the contest. It is not merely for glory 
that we are now about to contend. If Hannibal 
conquers, he will march to Rome, and our wives, 
our children, and all that we hold dear will be 
at his mercy. Remember this, and go into the 
battle feeling that the fate of Rome itself is de- 
pending upon the result." 

An oration is attributed to Hannibal, too, on 
the occasion of this battle. He showed, howev- 
er, his characteristic ingenuity and spirit of con- 
trivance in the way in which he managed to at- 
tract strong attention to what he was going to 
say, by the manner in which he introduced it. 
He formed his army into a circle, as if to wit> 
ness a spectacle. He then brought in to the 
center of this circle a number of prisoners that 
he had taken among the Alps — perhaps they 
were the hostages which had been delivered to 
him, as related in the preceding chapter. Who- 
ever they were, however, whether hostages o? 
captives taken in the battles which had been 

L32 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Jurioui combat Effect on (he army 

fought in the denies, Hannibal had brought 
them with his army down into Italy, and now 
introducing them into the center of the circle 
which the army formed, he threw down before 
them such arms as they were accustomed to use 
in their native mountains, and asked them wheth- 
er they would be willing to take those weapons 
and fight each other, on condition that each one 
who killed his antagonist should be restored to 
his liberty, and have a horse and armor given 
him, so that he could return home with honor. 

^he barbarous monsters said readily that they 
juld, and seized the arms with the greatest 

vidity. Two or three pairs of combatants w^re 
allowed to fight. One of each pair was killed, 
and the other set at liberty according to the 
promise of Hannibal. The combats excited the 
greatest interest, and awakened the strongest 
enthusiasm among the soldiers who witnessed 
them. When this effect had been sufficiently 
produced, the rest of the prisoners *vere sent 
away, and Hannibal addressed the vast ring of 
soldiery as follows : 

" I have intended, soldiers, in what you hava 
now seen, not merely to amuse you, but to give 
you a picture of your own situation. You are 
hemmed in on the rteht and loft bv Wo seas, 

B.C.217.] Hannibal in Italy. 133 

Hannibal's speech to his army. His words of encouragement 

and you have not so much as a single ship upon 
either of them. Then there is the Po before 
yon and the Alps behind. The Po is a deeper, 
and more rapid and turbulent river than the 
Rhone ; and as for the Alps, it was with the ut- 
most difficulty that you passed over them when 
you were in full strength and vigor ; they are 
an insurmountable wall to you now. You aro 
therefore shut in, like our prisoners, on every 
side, and have no hope of life and liberty but in 
battle and victory. 

" The victory, however, will not be difficult 
I see, wherever I look among you, a spirit of 
determination and courage which I am sure will 
make you conquerors. The troops which you 
are going to contend against are mostly fresh 
recruits, that know nothing of the discipline of 
the camp, and can never successfully confront 
such war-worn veterans as you. You all know 
each other well, and me. I was, in fact, a pu- 
pil with you for many years, Defore I took the 
command. But Scipio's forces are strangers to 
one another and to him, and, consequently, have 
no common bond of sympathy ; and a3 for Scipic 
himself, his very commission as a Roman gen- 
eral is only six months old. 

"Think, too, what a splendid and prosperoua 

134 Hannibal. [B.C.217 

Hannibal s promises. D3j real feeling* 

oareer victory will open before you. It will 
conduct you to Rome. It will make you mas- 
ters of one of the most powerful and wealthiest 
cities in the world. Thus far you have fought 
your battles only for glory or for dominion ; 
now, you will have something more substantial 
to reward your success. There will be great 
treasures to be divided among you if we con- 
quer, but if we are defeated we are lost. Hem- 
med in as we are on every side, there is no 
place that we can reach by flight. There is, 
therefore, no such alternative as flight left to us. 
We must conquer." 

It is hardly probable that Hannibal could 
have really and honestly felt all the confidence 
that he expressed in his harangues to his sol- 
diers. He must have had some fears. In fact, 
in all enterprises undertaken by man, the indi- 
cations of success, and the hopes based upon 
them, will fluctuate from time to time, and 
cause his confidence in the result to jbb and 
flow, so that bright anticipations of success and 
triumph will alternate in his heart with feelings 
of discouragement and despondency. This ef- 
fect is experienced by all ; by the energetic and 
decided as well as by the timid and the falter- 
ing. The former, however, never allow thesa 

B.C. 217.] Hannibal m Italy. 135 

Hannibal's energy and decision. His steady resolution. 

fluctuations of hope and fear to influence their 
action. They consider well the substantial 
grounds for expecting success before commenc- 
ing their undertaking, and then go steadily for- 
ward, under all aspects of the sky — when it 
shines and when it rains — till they reach the 
end. The inefficient and undecided can act 
only under the stimulus of present hope. The 
end they aim at must be visible before them all 
the time. If for a moment it passes out of view, 
their motive is gone, and they can do no more, 
till, by some change in circumstances, it comes 
in sight again. 

Hannibal was energetio and decided. The 
tune for him to consider whether he would en- 
counter the hostility of the Roman empire, 
aroused to the highest possible degree, was 
when his army was drawn up upon the banks 
d( the Iberus, before they crossed it. The Ibe 
rus was his Rubicon. That line once over- 
stepped, there was to be no further faltering. 
The difficulties which arose from time to time 
to throw a cloud over his prospects, only seem- 
ed to etimulato him to fresh energy, and to awa- 
ken a new, though still a calm and steady reso- 
lution. It was so at the Pyrenees; it was so 
at the Rhone ; it was so among the Alps, wher« 

136 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Hannibal's unfaltering couraga. Movements of Scipio 

the difficulties and dangers would have induced 
almost any other commander to have returned j 
and it was still so, now that he found himself 
*hut in on every hand by the stern boundaries 
of Northern Italy, whi3n he could not possibly 
hope again to pass, and the whole disposable 
force of the Roman empire, commanded, too, by 
one of the consuls, concentrated before him. 
The imminent danger produced no faltering, 
and apparently no fear. 

The armies were not yet in sight of each oth- 
er. They were, in fact, yet on opposite sides 
of the River Po. The Roman commander con- 
cluded to march his troops across the river, and 
advance in search of Hannibal, who was still 
at some miles' distance. After considering the 
various means of crossing the stream, he deci- 
ded finally on building a bridge. 

Military commanders generally throw some 
sort of a bridge across a stream of water lying 
in their way, if it is too deep to be easily forded, 
aniess, indeed, it is so wide and rapid as to make 
the construction of the bridge difficult or im- 
practicable. In this latter case they cross as 
well as they can by means of boats and rafts, 
and by swimming. The Po, though not a very 
largo stream at this point, was too leep to be 

B.C.217.] Hannibal ii Italy. 137 

Sclpio's bridge over the Po. The army crosse* the rirer 

forded, and Scipio accordingly built a bridge. 
The soldiers cut down the trees which grew in 
the forests along the banks, and after trimming 
oft' the tops and branches, they rolled the trunks 
into the water. They placed these trunks side 
by side, with others, laid transversely and pinned 
down, upon the top. Thus they formed rafts, 
which they placed in a line across the stream, 
securing them well to each other and to the 
banks. This made the foundation for the bridge, 
and after this foundation was covered with oth- 
er materials, so as to make the upper surface a 
convenient roadway, the army were conducted 
across it, and then a small detachment of sol- 
diers were stationed at each extremity of it as 
a guard. 

Such a bridge as this answers a very good 
temporary purpose, and in still water, as, for 
example, over narrow lakes or very sluggish 
streams, where there is very little current, a 
floating structure of this kind is sometimes built 
for permanent service. Such bridges will not, 
however, stand on broad and rapid rivers liable 
to floods. The pressure of the water alone, in 
such cases, would veiy much endanger all the 
fastenings; and in cases where drift wood or 
tee is brought down by the stream, the floating 

138 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Hannibal's warlike operation*. Ue concentrates his array 

masses, not being able to pass under the bridge, 
would accumulate above it, and would soon 
oear upon it with so enormous a pressure thai 
nothing could withstand its force. The bridge 
prould be broken away, and the whole accumu- 
ation — bridge, drift-wood, and ice — would be 
Dome irresistibly down the stream together. 

Scipio's bridge, however, answered very well 
for his purpose. His army passed over it in 
safety. When Hannibal heard of this, he knew 
that the battle was at hand. Hannibal was him- 
self at this time about five miles distant. While 
Scipio was at work upon the bridge, Hannibal 
was employed, mainly, as he had been all the 
time since his descent from the mountains, in 
the subjugation of the various petty nations and 
tribes north of the Po. Some of them were 
well disposed to join his standard. Others were 
allies of the Romans, and wished to remain so. 
He made treaties and sent help to the former, 
and dispatched detachments of troops to intim- 
idate and subdue the latter. When, however) 
he learned that Scipio had crossed the river, he 
ordered all these detachments to come immedi- 
ately in, and he began to prepare in earnest for 
the contest that was impending. 

He called together an assembly of his soldiers, 

B.C.217.] Hannibal in Italy. 139 

Hannibal addresses Ms soldier*. He promises them land* 

and announced to them finally that the battle 
was now nigh. He renewed the words of en- 
couragement that he had spoken before, and in 
addition to what he then said, he now promised 
the soldiers rewards in land in case they proved 
victorious. " I will give you each a farm," said 
he, " wherever you choose to have it, either in 
Africa, Italy, or Spain. If, instead of the land, 
any of you shall prefer to receive rather an equiv- 
alent in money, you shall have the reward in 
that form, and then you can return home and 
live with your friends, as before the war, under 
circumstances which will make you objects of 
envy to those who remained behind. If any of 
you would like to live in Carthage, I will have 
you made free citizens, so that you can live there 
in independence and honor." 

But what security would there be for the 
faithful fulfillment of these promises ? In mod- 
ern times such security is given by bonds, with 
pecuniary penalties, or by the deposit of titles 
to property in responsible hands. In ancient 
days they managed differently. The promisor 
D >und himself by some solemn and formal mode 
of adjuraticm, accomparied, in important cases, 
with certain ceremonies, which were supposed 
to seal and confirm the obligation assumed. In 

140 Hannibal. [B.C 217 

Ratifying a promise. Omen* 

this case Hannibal brought a lamb in the pres- 
ence of the assembled army. He held it before 
them with his left hand, while with his right 
he grasped a heavy stone. He then called aloud 
npon the gods, imploring them to destroy him 
as he was about to slay the lamb, if he failed 
to perform faithfully and fully the pledges that 
he had made. He then struck the poor lamb a 
heavy blow with the stone. The animal fell 
dead at his feet, and Hannibal was thenceforth 
bound, in the opinion of the army, by a very 
solemn obligation indeed, to be faithful in ful- 
filling his word. 

The soldiers were greatly animated and ex- 
cited by these promises, and were in haste to 
have the contest come on. The Roman sol- 
diers, it seems, were in a different mood of 
mind. Some circumstances had occurred which 
they considered as bad omens, and they were 
very much dispirited and depressed by them. 
It is astonishing that men should ever allow 
their minds to be affected by such wholly acci 
Cental occurrences as theso were. One of them 
#ras this: a wolf came into their camp, from 
one of the forests near, and after wounding sev- 
era. men, made his escape again. The othei 
was more trifling still. A swarm of bees rle\» 

B.C.217.] Hannibal in Italy. 141 

The battle. The Romans thrown Into confusion 

into the encampment, and lighted upon a tree 
just over Scipio's tent. This was considered, 
for some reason or other, a sign that some ca- 
lamity was going to befall them, and the men 
were accordingly intimidated and disheartened 
They consequently looked forward to the battle 
with uneasiness and anxiety, while the army of 
Hannibal anticipated it with eagerness and 

The battle came on, at last, very suddenly, 
and at a moment when neither party were ex- 
pecting it. A large detachment of both armies 
were advancing toward the position of the other, 
near the River Ticinus, to reconnoiter, when 
they met, and the battle began. Hannibal ad- 
vanced with great impetuosity, and sent, at the 
same time, a detachment around to attack his 
enemy in the rear. The Romans soon began 
to fall into confusion; the horsemen and foot 
soldiers got entangled together ; the men were 
trampled upon by the horses, and the horsot 
were frightened by the men. In the midst of 
this scene, Scipio received a wound. A consul 
was a dignitary of very high consideration Ha 
was, in fact, a sort of semi-king. Th«5 officers, 
and all the soldiers, so fast as they heard thai 
the oonsul was wounded, were terrified and dis^ 

142 Hannibal. [B.C.217 

Bcipio wounded. The Romans driven back across the rirer 

mayed, and the Romans began to retreat 
Scipio had a young son, named also Scipio, who 
was then about twenty years of age. He was 
fighting by the side of his father when he re- 
oeived his wound. He protected his father, got 
him into the center of a compact body of caval- 
ry, and moved slowly off the ground, those in 
the rear facing toward the enemy and beating 
them back, as they pressed on in pursuit of 
them. In this way they reached their camp 
Here they stopped for the night. They had 
fortified the place, and, as night was coming on, 
Hannibal thought it not prudent to press on and 
attack them there. He waited for the morning. 
Scipio, however, himself wounded and nis army 
discouraged, thought it not prudent for him to 
wait till the morning. At midnight he put his 
whole force in motion on a retreat. He kept 
the camp-fifes burning, and did every thing else 
in his power to prevent the Carthaginians ob- 
serving any indications of his departure His 
army marched secretly and silently till they 
reached the river. They recrossed it by the 
bridge they had built, and then, cutting away 
the fastenings by which the different rafts were 
held together, the structure was at once de- 
stroyed, and the materials of which it was oon,- 

B x>. ix 7 .J Hannibal in Italy 143 

The Romans destroy the bridge orer the Ticinua. 

posed floated away, a mere mass of ruins, down 
the stream. From the Ticinus they floated, 
we may imagine, into the Po, and thence down 
the Po into the Adriatic Sea, where they drifted 
about upon the waste of waters till they were 
at Jast, one after another driven by storms upo^s 
the sandy shores. 

144 Hanm bal. [B.<\217 

Hannibal pursues the Romans. He takes some prisoners. 

Chapter VII. 
The Apennines. 

AS soon as Hannibal was apprised in the 
morning that Scipio and his forces had left 
thei* ground, he pressed on after them, very 
earnest to overtake them before they should 
each the river. But he was too late. The 
main body of the Roman army had got over. 
There was, however, a detachment of a few 
aundred men, who had been left on Hannibal's 
side of the river to guard the bridge until aU 
the army shouid have passed, and then to help 
in cutting it away. They had accomplished 
this before Hannibal's arrival, but had not had 
time to contrive any way to get across the river 
themselves. Hannibal took them all prisoners. 
The condition and prospects of both the Ro- 
man and Carthaginian cause were entirely 
changed by this battle, and the retreat of Soipie 
across the Po. All the nations of the north of 
Italy, who had been subjects or allies of the Ro- 
mans, now turned to Hannibal. They sent 
embassies into his camp, offering him their 

B.C.217.J The Apennines 145 

Revolt of some Gauls from the Romans. Hanniba' crosses the rivei 

friendship and alliance. In fact, there was a 
large body of Gauls in the Roman camp, who 
were fighting under Scipio at the battle of Ti« 
cinus, who deserted his standard immediately 
afterward, and came over in a mass to Hanni- 
bal. They made this revolt in the night, and, 
instead of stealing away secretly, they raised a 
prodigious tumult, killed the guards, filled the 
encampment with their shouts and outcries, and 
created for a time an awful scene of terror. 

Hannibal received them, but he was too sa- 
gacious to admit such a treacherous horde into 
his army. He treated them with great consid- 
eration and kindness, and dismissed them with 
presents, that they might all go to their respect- 
ive homes, charging them to exert their influ- 
once in his favor among the tribes to which they 
severally belonged. 

Hannibal's soldiers, too, were very much en- 
couraged by the commencement they had made. 
The army made immediate preparations for 
crossing the river. Some of the soldiers built 
rafts, others went up the stream in search of 
places to ford Some swam across. They couL i 
adopt these or any other modes in safety, for th* 
Romans made no stand on the opposite bank t« 
oppose them, but moved rapidly on, as fast a» 

146 Hannibal. |_B.C. 217. 

Dismay of the Romans. Sempronius recalled to Italy. 

Scipio could be carried. His wounds began to 
inflame, and were extremely painful. 

In fact, the Romans were dismayed at the 
1 mger which now threatened them. As soon 
as news of these events reached the city, the 
authorities there sent a dispatch immediately 
to Sicily to recall the other consul. His name 
was Sempronius. It will be recollected that, 
when the lots were cast between him and Scip- 
io, it fell to Scipio to proceed to Spain, with a 
view to arresting Hannibal's march, while Sem- 
pronius went to Sicily and Africa. The object 
of this movement was to threaten and attack 
the Carthaginians at home, in order to distract 
their attention and prevent their sending any 
r resh forces to aid Hannibal, and, perhaps, even 
co compel them to recall him from Italy to de- 
fend their own capital. But now that Hanni- 
bal had not only passed the Alps, but had also 
crossed the Po, and was marching toward Rome 
— Scipio himself disabled, and his army flying 
before him — they were obliged at once to aban- 
don the plan of threatening Carthage. They 
sent with all dispatch an order to Sempronius 
to hasten home and assist in the defense of 

Sempronius was a man of a very prompt and 

R.C.2I7.J The Apennines. 14 

Sufferings of Scipio from his wound. He if joined by Sempronius 

impetuous character, with great confidence in 
his own powers, and very ready for action. He 
oame immediately into Italy, recruited new sol- 
liers for the army, put himself at the head of 
his forces, and marched northward to join Scipio 
in the valley of the Po. Scipio was suffering 
great r>ain from his wounds, and could do but lit- 
tle toward directing the operations of the arm} 
He had slowly retreated before Hannibal, the 
fever and pain of his wounds being greatly ex- 
asperated by the motion of traveling. In this 
manner he arrived at the Trebia, a small stream 
flowing northward into the Po. He crossed this 
stream, and finding that he could not go any 
further, on account of the torturing pain to which 
it put him to be moved, he halted his army, 
marked out an encampment, threw up fortifica- 
tions around it, and prepared to make a stand. 
To his great relief, Sempronius soon came up 
and joined him here. 

There were now two generals. Napoleoc 
used to say that one bad commander was bet- 
ter than two good ones, so essential is it to suc- 
cess in all military operations to secure that 
promptness, and confidence, and decision which 
can only exist where action is directed by one 
single mind. Sempronius and Scipio disagreed 

148 Hannibal [B.C. 21 

The Romai commander* disagree. Skirmishes 

as to the proper course to be pursued. Sempro- 
nius wished to attack Hannibal immediately. 
Scipio was in favor of delay. Sempronius at- 
tributed Scipio's reluctance to give battle to the 
dejection of mind and discouragement produced 
by his wound, or to a feeling of envy lest he, 
Sempronius, should have the honor of conquer- 
ing the Carthaginians, while he himself was 
helpless in his tent. On the other hand, Scipic 
thought Sempronius inconsiderate and reckless, 
and disposed to rush heedlessly into a contest 
with a foe whose powers and resources he did 
not understand. 

In the mean time, while the two command- 
ers were thus divided in opinion, some skirmish 
es and small engagements took place between 
detachments from the two armies, in which Sem- 
pronius thought that the Romans had the ad- 
vantage. This excited his enthusiasm more 
and more, and he became extremely desirous tc 
bring on a general battle. He began to be quite 
out of patience with Scipio's caution and delay. 
The soldiers, he said, were full of strength and 
courage, all eager for the combat, and it was 
absurd to hold them back on account of the fee- 
bleness of one kjick man. " Besides," said he, 
u of what use can it be to delay any longer \ 

B.C. 217.] The Apeninnes. 149 

Semproniua eager for a battle. Hannibal's stratagem 

We are as ready to meet the Carthaginians now 
as we shall ever be. There is no third consul 
to come and help us ; and what a disgrace it is 
Tor us Romans, who in the former war led our 
troops to the very gates of Carthage, to allow 
Hannibal to bear sway over all the north of It- 
aly, while we retreat gradually before him, 
afraid to encounter now a force that we have 
always conquered before." 

Hannibal was not long in learning, through 
his spies, that there was this difference of opin- 
ion between the Roman generals, and that Sem 
pronius was full of a presumptuous sort of ardor 
and he began to think that he could contriv 
some plan to draw the latter out into battle un- 
der circumstances in which he would have to 
act at a great disadvantage. He did contrive 
such a plan. It succeeded admirably ; and the 
case was one of those numerous instances which 
occurred in the history of Hannibal, of success- 
ful stratagem, which led the Romans to say that 
his leading traits of character were treachery 
and cunning. 

Hannibal's plan was, in a word, an attempt 
to draw the Roman army out of its encamp- 
ment on a dark, cold, and stormy night in De- 
cember, and get them into the river. This riv 

150 Hanbibal. [B.C.217 

Details of Hannibal's scheme. The ambuscade 

er was the Trebia. It flowed north into the Po, 
between the Roman and Carthaginian camps. 
His scheme, in detail, was to send a part of his 
army over the river to attack the Romans in the 
night or very early in the morning. He hoped 
that by this means Sempronhis would be induc- 
ed to come out of his camp to attack the Car- 
thaginians. The Carthaginians were then to 
fly and recross the river, and Hannibal hoped 
that Sempronhis would follow, excited by the 
ardor of pursuit. Hannibal was then to have a 
strong reserve of the army, that had remained 
all the time in warmth and safety, to come out 
and attack the Romans with unimpaired strength 
and vigor, while the Romans themselves would 
be benumbed by the cold and wet, and disor- 
ganized by the confusion produced in crossing 
the stream. 

A part of Hannibal's reserve were to be plac- 
ed in an ambuscade. There were some mead 
ows near the water, which were covered in 
many places with taL grass and bushes. Han- 
nibal went to examine the spot, and found that 
this shrubbery was high enough for even horse- 
men to be concealed in it. He determined to 
place a thousand foot soldiers and a thousand 
horsemen here, +he most efficient and coura 

IlC. 217. J The Apennines. Hi 

Two thousand chosen men. Hannibal's manner of chaoaing them 

geous in the army. He selected them in the 
following manner : 

He called one of his lieutenant generals to 
the spot, explained somewhat of his design to 
trim, and then asked him to go and choose from 
the cavalry and the infantry, a hundred each, 
the best soldiers he could find. This two hund- 
red were then assembled, and Hannibal, after 
surveying them with looks of approbation and 
pleasure, said, " Yes, you are the men I want, 
only, instead of two hundred, I need two thou- 
sand. Go back to the army, and select and 
oring to me, each of you, nine men like your- 
selves." It is easy to be imagined that the sol- 
diers were pleased with this commission, and 
that they executed it faithfully. The whole 
force thus chosen was soon assembled, and sta- 
tioned in the thickets above described, where 
they lay in ambush ready to attack the Romans 
after they should pass the river. 

Hannibal also made arrangements fcr leaving 
a large part of his army in his own camp, ready 
for battle, with orders that they should partak* 
>f food and refreshments, and keep themselves 
warm by the fires until they should be called 
upon. All things being thus ready, he detach- 
r>d a body of horsemen to cross the river, and 

J52 llANNIBAL. [B.C.217 

Attack on the Roman camp. Success of Hannibal's stratagem. 

see if they could provoke the Romans to com* 
out of their camp and pursue them. 

" Go," said Hannibal, to the commander of 
this detachment, " pass the stream, advance to 
the Roman camp, assail the guards, and when 
the army forms and comes out to attack you, re- 
treat slowly before them back across the river/' 

The detachment did as it was ordered to do 
When they arrived at the camp, which was 
soon after break of day — for it was a part of 
Hannibal's plan to bring the Romans out before 
they should have had time to breakfast — Sem- 
pronius, at the first alarm, called all the soldiers 
to arms, supposing that the whole Carthaginian 
force was attacking them. It was a cold and 
stormy morning, and the atmosphere being fill- 
ed with rain and snow, but little could be seen. 
Column after column of horsemen and of in- 
fantry marched out of the camp. The Cartha- 
ginians retreated. Sempronius was greatly ex- 
cited at the idea of so easily driving back the 
assailants, and, as they retreated, he pressed on 
in pursuit of them. As Hannibal had antici- 
pated, he became so excited in the pursuit that 
he did not stop at the banks of the river. The 
Carthaginian horsemen plunged into the stream 
in their retreat, and the Remans, foot soldiers 

B.C. 217.J The Apennines. 153 

Sempronius crosses the river. Impetuous attack of Hannibal 

and horsemen together, followed on. The strearr 
was usually small, but it was now swelled by 
the rain which had been falling all the night. 
Tio water was, of course, intensely cold. The 
horsemen got through tolerably well, but tta 
foot soldiers were all thoroughly drenched and 
benumbed ; and as they had not taken any food 
that morning, and had come forth on a very 
sudden call, and without any sufficient prepara- 
tion, they felt the effects of the exposure in the 
strongest degree. Still they pressed on. They 
ascended the bank after crossing the river, and 
when they had formed again there, and were 
moving forward in pursuit of their still flying 
enemy, suddenly the whole force of Hannibal's 
reserves, strong and vigorous, just from their 
tents and their fires, burst upon them. They 
had scarcely recovered from the astonishment 
and the shock of this unexpected onset, when 
the two thousand concealed in the amDUScade 
came sallying forth in the storm, and assailed 
the Romans in the rear with frightful shoutfl 
and outcries. 

Ail these movements took place very rapidly. 
Only a very short period elapsed from the time 
that the Roman army, officers and soldiers, were 
quiotly sleeping in their camp, or rising slowly 

154 Hannibal. [B.C. 217 

Situation of the Roman army. Terrible conflict 

to prepare for the routine of an ordiliary day, be- 
fore they found themselves all drawn out in bat- 
tle array some miles from their encampment, 
and surrounded and hemmed in by their foes. 
Ihe events succeeded each other so rapidly as 
to appear to the soldiers like a dream ; but very 
soon their wet and freezing clothes, their limbs 
benumbed and stiffened, the sleet which was 
driving along the plain, the endless lines of Car- 
thaginian infantry, hemming them in on all sides, 
and the columns of horsemen and of elephants 
charging upon them, convinced them that their 
situation was one of dreadful reality. The ca 
lamity, too, which threatened them was of vast 
extent, as well as imminent and terrible; for, 
though the stratagem of Hannibal was very sim- 
ple in its plan and management, still he had ex- 
ecuted it on a great scale, and had brought out 
trie whole Roman army. There were, it is said, 
aocut forty thousand that crossed the river, and 
about an equal number in the Carthaginian 
army to oppose them. Such a body of comba t- 
ants covered, of course, a large extent of ground, 
and the conflict that ensued was one of the most 
t* rrible scenes of the many that Hannibal as- 
sisted in enacting. 

The conflict continued for many hours, the 

; ,A Z I / . | Th K A V K .N .N I N 10 S 105 

i tttu detent of the Romans. Scene after the battle. 

Romans getting more and more into confusion 
a L the time. The elephants of the Carthagin- 
ians, that is, the few that now remained, made 
great havoc in their ranks, and finally, after a 
combat of some hours, the whole army was 
broken up and fled, some portions in compact 
bodies, as their officers could keep them togeth- 
er, and others in hopeless and inextricable con- 
fusion. They made their way back to the riv- 
er, which they reached at various points up and 
down the stream. In the mean time, the con- 
tinued rain had swollen the waters still more, 
the low lands were overflowed, the deep places 
concealed, and the broad expanse of x water in 
the center of the stream whirled in boiling and 
turbid eddies, whose surface was roughened by 
the December breeze, and dotted every whera 
with the drops of rain still falling. 

When the Roman army was thoroughly bro- 
ken up and scattered, the Carthaginians gave 
ap the further prosecution of the contest. They 
were too wet, cold, and exhausted themselves 
to feel any ardor in the pursuit of their enemies. 
Vast numbers of the Romans, however, attempt- 
ed to recross the river, and were swept down 
and destroyed by the merciless flood, whose force 
thev had not strength enough remaining to with 

156 Hannibal. [B.C. 2 17 

Various battles of Hannibal. Scarcity of food 

stand. Other portions of the troops lay hid in 
lurking-places to which they had retreated, un- 
til night came on, and then they made rafts on 
which they contrived to flcat themselves back 
across the stream. Hannibal's troops were too 
wet, and cold, and exhausted to go out again 
into the storm, and so they were unmolested in 
these attempts. Notwithstanding this, howev- 
er, great numbers of them were carried down 
the stream and lost. 

It was now December, too late for Hannibai 
to attempt to advance much further that season, 
and yet the way before him was open to the 
Apennines, by the defeat of Sempronius, for 
neither he nor Scipio could now hope to make 
another stand against him till they should re- 
ceive new re-enforcements from Rome. During 
the winter months Hannibal had various battles 
and adventures, sometimes with portions and de- 
tachments of the Roman army, and sometimes 
with the native tribes. He was sometimes in 
great difficulty for want of food for his army, 
until at length he bribed the governor of a cas- 
tle, where a Roman granary was kept, to delive? 
it up to him, and after that he was well supplied 

The natives of the country were, however, 
Dot at all well disposed toward him, and in the 

B.C.217.] The Apennines. 157 

Valley of the Arno. Crossing the Apennines 

course of the winter they attempted to impede 
his operations, and to harass his arm y by every 
means in their power. Finding his situation 
uncomfortable, ne moved on toward the south, 
and at length determined that, inclement as the 
season was, he would cross the Apennines. 

By looking at the map of Italy, it will be 
seen that the great valley of the Po extends 
across the whole north of Italy. The valley of 
the Arno and of the Umbro lies south of it, sep- 
arated from it by a part of the Apennine chain. 
This southern valley was Etruria. Hannibal 
decided to attempt to pass over the mountains 
into Etruria. He thought he should find there 
a warmer climate, and inhabitants more well- 
disposed toward him, besides being so much 
nearer Rome. 

But, though Hannibal conquered the Alps, 
the Apennines conquered him. A very violent 
storm arose just as he reached the most exposed 
place among the mountains. It was intensely 
30LI and the wind blew the hail and snow direct- 
ly into the faces of the troops, so that it was im- 
possible for them to proceed. They halted and 
turned their backs tc the storm, but the wind 
increased more and more, and was attended 
with terrific thunder and lightning, which filled 

158 Hannibal. [B.C. 21? 

Terrific storm. Death of the elephant* 

the soldiers with alarm, as they were at such 
an altitude as to be themselves enveloped in the 
clouds from which the peals and flashes were 
3mitted. Unwilling to retreat, Hannibal order 
cd the army to encamp on the spot, in the besr 
ghslter they could find. They attempted, ac- 
cordingly, to pitch their tents, but it was impos- 
sible to secure them. The wind increased to a 
hurricane. The tent poles were unmanageable, 
and the canvas was carried away from its fast- 
enings, and sometimes split or blown into rags 
by its flapping in the wind. The poor elephants, 
that is, all that were left of them from previous 
battles and exposures, sunk down under this 
intense cold and died. One only remained alive. 
Hannibal ordered a retreat, and the army 
went back into the valley of the Po. But Han- 
nibal was ill at ease here. The natives of the 
country were very weary of his presence. His 
army consumed their food, ravaged their coun- 
try, and destroyed all their peace and happiness. 
Hannibal suspected them of a design to poison 
him or assassinate him in some other way. He 
was continually watching and taking precau- 
tions against these attempts. He had a great 
many different dresses made to be used as dis- 
guises, and false hair of different colors *nd 

B.C 217.J The Apennines. 159 

Hannibal's uneasiness. He crosses the Apennines. 

fashion, so that he could alter his appearance 
at pleasure. This was to prevent any spy 01 
assassin who might come into his camp from 
identifying him by any description of his dress 
and appearance. Still, notwithstanding these 
precautions, he was ill at ease, and at the very 
earliest practicable period in the spring he made 
a new attempt to cross the mountains, and was 
now successful. 

On descending the southern declivities of the 
Apennines he learned that a new Roman army, 
under a new consul, was advancing toward him 
from the south. He was eager to meet this 
force, and was preparing to press forward at 
once by the nearest way. He found, however, 
that this would lead him across the lower part 
of the valley of the Arno, which was here very 
broad, and, though usually passable, was now 
overflowed in consequence of the swelling of the 
waters of the river by the melting of the snows 
upon the mountains. The whole country was 
qdw, in fact, a vast expanse of marshes and fens 

Still, Hannibal concluded to cross it, and, in 
the attempt, he involved his army in difficulties 
and dangers as great, almost, as he had encoun- 
tered upon the Alps. The waters were rising 
»x>ntinually ; the; filled all the channels and 

itiU Hann uai [BC.217 

Perilous march. Hannibal's sickneai 

spread over extended plains. They were sc 
turbid, too, that every thing beneath the surface 
was concealed, and the soldiers wading in them 
-vere continually sinking into deep and sudden 
hannels and into bogs of mire, where many 
were lost. They were all exhausted and worn 
out by the wet and cold, and the long continu 
ance of their exposure to it. They were foui 
days and three nights in this situation, as their 
progress was, of course, extremely slow. The 
men, during all this time, had scarcely any 
sleep, and in some places the only way by which 
they could get any repose was to lay their arms 
and their baggage in the standing water, so as 
to build, by this means, a sort of couch or plat- 
form on which they could lie. Hannibal him- 
self was sick too. He was attacked with a vio- 
lent inflammation of the eyes, and the sight of 
one of them was in the end destroyed. He was 
not, however, so much exposed as the other 
officers; for there was one elephant left of all 
those that had commenced the march in Spain, 
and Hannibal rode this elephant during the foui 
days' march through the water. There were 
guides and attendants to precede him, for the 
purpose of finding a safe and practicable road, 
and by their aid, with the help of the anr nal's 
*a.iracit\\ he sot safelv through. 

B.C.2J6.] The Dictator Fabius. lf& 

Alarm at Rome. The consul Fluniniu* 

Chapter VIII. 
The Dictator Fabius. 

IN the mean time, while Hannibal was thru* 
lapidly making his way toward the gates of 
Rome, the people of the city became more and 
more alarmed, until at last a general feeling 
of terror pervaded all the ranks of society. Cit- 
izens and soldiers were struck with one common 
dread. They had raised a new army and put 
it under the command of a new consul, for th« 
terms of service of the others had expired. 
Flaminius was the name of this new command- 
er, and he was moving northward at the head 
of his forces at the time that Hannibal was con- 
ducting his troops with so much labor and diffi- 
culty through the meadows and morasses of the 

This army was, however, no more successful 
than its predecessors had been. Hannibal con- 
trived to entrap Flaminius by a stratagem, as 
he had entrapped Sempronius before. There is 
in the eastern part of Etruria, near the mount- 
uru^ a lake called Lake Thrasymene. It haj>- 

164 Hannibal. [B C. 21b 

Another stratagem. Confidence of Flaminhu 

pened that this lake extended so near to the 
base of the mountains as to leave only a narrow 
passage between — a passage but little wider 
than was necessary for a road. Hannibal con- 
trived to station a detachment of his troops in 
ambuscade at the foot of the mountains, and 
others on the declivities above, and then in some 
way or other to entice Flaminius and his army 
through the defile. Flaminius was, like Sem- 
pronius, ardent, self-confident, and vain. He 
despised the power of Hannibal, and thought 
that his success hitherto had been owing to the 
jiefficiency or indecision of his predecessors. 
For his part, his only anxiety was to encounter 
him, for he was sure of an easy victory. He 
advanced, therefore, boldly and without concern 
into the pass of Thrasymene, when he learned 
that Hannibal was encamped beyond it. 

Hannibal had established an encampment 
openly on some elevated ground beyond the pass, 
and as Flaminius and his troops came into the 
narrowest part of the defile, they saw this en- 
campment at a distance before them, with a 
broad plain beyond the pass intervening They 
8 apposed that the whole force of the enemy was 
there, not dreaming of the presence of the strong 
detachments which were hid on the slopes of 

B.C.216.J This D ctator Fabius. lh£ 

Complete rout of the Romans. Effects of the battle 

the mountains above them, and were looking 
down upon them at that very moment from be- 
nind rocks and bushes. When, therefore, the 
Romans had got through the pass, they spread 
jut upon the plain beyond it, and were advan- 
cing to the camp, when suddenly the secreted 
troops burst forth from their ambuscade, and, 
pouring down the mountains, took complete pos- 
session of the pass, and attacked the Romans in 
the rear, while Hannibal attacked them in the 
van. Another long, and desperate, and bloody 
contest ensued. The Romans were beaten at 
every point, and, as they were hemmed in be- 
tween the lake, the mountain, and the pass, 
«hey could not retreat; the army was, accord- 
ingly, almost wholly cut to pieces. Flaminius 
himself was killed. 

The news of this battle spread every where, 
and produced the strongest sensation. Hanni- 
bal sent dispatches to Carthage announcing 
what he considered his final victory over the 
great foe, and the news was received with the 
greatest rejoicings. At Rome, on the other 
aand, the news produced a dreadful shock of dis- 
appointment and terror. It seemed as if the 
last hx>pe of resisting the progress of their terri 
hie enemy was gone, and that they had nothing 

166 Hannibal. [B.C. 216 

Panic of the Romans. Their superstition* fear* 

now to do but to sink down in despair, and await 
the hour when his columns should come pour- 
ing in through the gates of the city. 

The people of Rome were, in fact, prepared 
for a panic, for their fears had been increasing 
and gathering strength for some time. They 
weie very superstitious in those ancient days 
in respect to signs and omens. A thousand tri- 
fling occurrences, which would, at the present 
day, be considered of no consequence whatever, 
were then considered bad signs, auguring terri- 
ble calamities ; and, on occasions like these, 
when calamities seemed to be impending, every 
thing was noticed, and circumstances which 
would not have been regarded at all at ordinary 
times, were reported from one to another, the 
stories being exaggerated as they spread, until 
the imaginations of the people were tilled with 
mysterious but invincible fears. So universal 
was the belief in these prodigies and omens, that 
they were sometimes formally reported to th* 
§enate, committees were appointed to inquire 
inta them, and solemn sacrifices were offered t€ 
" expiate them," as it was termed, that Is, to 
avert the displeasure of the gods, which the 
omens were supposed to foreshadow and portend. 

A very crHous list of these omens was re 

B.C.216.] The Dictator Fabius 167 

Omens and bad signs. Tholr Influence, 

ported to the senate duiing the winter and 
spring in which Hannibal was advancing to- 
ward Rome. An ox from the cattle-market 
had got into a house, and, losing his way, had 
olimbed up into the third story, and, being fright- 
ened by the noise and uproar of those who fol- 
lowed him, ran out of a window and fell down 
to the ground. A light appeared in the sky in 
the form of ships. A temple was struck with 
lightning. A spear in the hand of a statue of 
Juno, a celebrated goddess, shook, one day, of it- 
self. Apparitions of men in white garments 
were seen in a certain place. A wolf came into 
a camp, and snatched the sword of a soldier on 
guard out of his hands, and ran away with it. 
The sun one day looked smaller than usual. 
Two moons were seen together in the sky. This 
was in the daytime, and one of the moons was 
doubtless a halo or a white cloud. Stones fell 
out of the sky at a place called Picenum. This 
was one of the most dreadful of all the omens, 
though it is now known to be a common occur* 

These omens were all, doubtless, real occur- 
rences, more or less remarkable, it is true, but, 
of course, entirely unmeaning in respect to 
their being indications of impending calamities 

168 Hannibal. [B.C. 216 

Curious transformations. Importance attached to these etoriea 

There were other things reported to the senate 
whieh must have originated almost wholly in 
the imaginations and fears of the observers. 
Two shields, it was said, in a certain camp, 
sweat blood. Some people were reaping, and 
bloody ears of grain fell into the basket. This, 
of course, must have been wholly imaginary, 
unless, indeed, one of the reapers had cut his 
fingers with the sickle. Some streams and 
fountains became bloody ; and, finally, in one 
place in the country, some goats turned into 
sheep. A hen, also, became a cock, and a cock 
changed to a hen. 

Such ridiculous stories would not be worthy 
of a moment's attention now, were it not for the 
degree of importance attached to them then. 
They were formally reported to the Roman sen- 
ate, the witnesses who asserted that they had 
seen them were called in and examined, and a 
solemn debate was held on the question what 
should be done to avert the supernatural influ- 
ences of evil which the omens expressed. The 
senate decided to have three days of expiation 
and sacrifice, during which the whole people of 
Rome devoted themselves to the religious ob- 
servances which they thought calculated to ap- 
pease the wrath of Heaven. They made vari- 

BC.216.] The Dictator Fab us. 169 

Fererish excitement at Rome. News of the battle 

ous offerings and gifts to the different gods, 
among which one was a golden thunderbolt of 
fifty pounds' weight, manufactured for Jupiter, 
whom they considered the thunderer. 

All th3se things took place before the battle 
at Lake Thrasymene, so that the whole com- 
munity were in a very feverish state of excite 
ment and anxiety before the news from Flamin- 
ius arrived. When these tidings at last came, 
they threw the whole city into utter consterna- 
tion. Of course, the messenger went directly 
to the senate-house to report to the government, 
but the story that such news had arrived soon 
spread about the city, and the whole population 
crowded into the streets and public squares, all 
eagerly asking for the tidings. An en >rmous 
throng assembled before the senate-house call- 
ing for information. A public officer appeared 
at last, and said to them in a loud voice, " We 
have been defeated in a great battle." He would 
iay no more. Still rumors spread from one to 
another, until it was generally known through- 
jut the city that Hannibal had conquered the 
Roman army again in a great battle, that great 
numbers of the soldiers had fallen or been taken 
prisoners, and that the consul himself was slain 

The night was passed in great anxiety and 

170 Hai»nibal. [B.C. 216 

Gatherings of the people. Arrival of etragglera 

terror, and the next day, and for several of the 
succeeding days, the people gathered in great 
numbers around the gates, inquiring eagerly foi 
news of 5very one that came in from the coun- 
try. Pretty soon scattered soldiers and smali 
bodies of troops began to arrive, bringing with 
them information of the battle, each one having 
a different tale to tell, according to his own in- 
dividual experience in the scene. Whenever 
these men arrived, the people of the city, and 
especially the women who had husbands or sons 
in the army, crowded around them, overwhelm- 
ing them with questions, and making them tell 
their tale again and again, as if the intolerable 
suspense and anxiety of the hearers could not 
be satisfied. The intelligence was such as in 
general to confirm and increase the fears of 
those who listened to it ; but sometimes, when 
it made known the safety of a husband or a son, 
it produced as much relief and rejoicing as it 
did in other ca^es terror and despair. That ma- 
ternal love was as strong an impulse in those 
rough days as it is in the more refined and culti- 
vated periods of the present age, is evinced by 
the fact that two of these Roman mothers, on 
seeing their sons coming suddenly into their 
presence, alive and well, when they had heari 

B.C.216.] The Diciatok Fabius. 171 

Appointment of a dictator Fabiu* 

that they had fallen in battle, were killed at 
once by the shock of surprise and joy, as if by a 

Ir seasons of great and imminent danger to 
the commonwealth, it was the custom of the 
Romans to appoint what they called a dictator, 
that is, a supreme executive, who was clothed 
with absolute and unlimited powers ; and it de- 
volved on him to save the state from the threat- 
ened ruin by the most prompt and energetic ac- 
tion. This case was obviously one of the emer- 
gencies requiring such a measure. There was 
no time for deliberations and debates ; for delib- 
erations and debates, in periods of such excite- 
ment and danger, become disputes, and end in 
tumult and uproar. Hannibal was at the head 
of a victorious army, ravaging the country which 
he had already conquered, and with no obstacle 
between him and the city itself. It was an 
emergency calling for the appointment of a dic- 
tator. The people made choice of a man of 
2Teat reputation for experience and wisdom, 
named Fabius, and placed the whole power of 
the state in his hands. All other authority was 
suspended, and every thing was subjected to 
his sway. The whole city, with the life and 
property of every inha^Hant, was placed at his 

172 Hannibal. [B.C. 21b" 

Measures of Fabius. Religious ceremonies 

disposal ; the army and the fleets were also un- 
der his command, even the consuls being sub- 
joct- to his orders. 

Fabius accepted the vast responsibility which 
his election imposed upon him, and immediately 
began to take the necessary measures. He first 
made arrangements for performing solemn re- 
ligious ceremonies, to expiate the omens an 1 
propitiate the gods. He brought out all the 
people in great convocations, and made them 
take vows, in the most formal and imposing 
manner, promising offerings and celebrations in 
honor of the various gods, at some future time, 
in case these divinities would avert the threat- 
ening danger. It is doubtful, however, whether 
Fabius, in doing these things, really believed 
that they had any actual efficiency, or whether 
he resorted to them as a means of calming and 
quieting the minds of the people, and producing 
that composure and confidence which always 
results from a hope of the favor of Heaven. ]f 
this last was his object, his conduct was emi« 
nently wise. 

Fabius, also, immediately ordered a large evy 
of troops to be made. His second in command, 
called his master of horse, was directed to make 
this Jovv* and to assemble the tr>ops at a place 

B.C. 216.] The Dictator Fabius. 173 

Minucius. Supreme authority of a dictator 

called Tibur, a few miles east of the city. 
There was always a master of horse appointed 
to attend upon and second a dictator. The 
name of this officer ir the case of Fabius was 
Minucius. Minucius was as ardent, prompt 
and impetuous, as Fabius was cocl, prudent, 
and calculating. He levied the troops and 
brought them to their place of rendezvous. Fa- 
bius went out to take the command of them. 
One of the consuls was coming to join him, with 
a body of troops which he had under his com- 
mand. Fabius sent word to him that he must 
come without any of the insignia of his author- 
ity, as all his authority, semi-regal as it was in 
ordinary times, was superseded and overruled 
in the presence of a dictator. A consul was 
accustomed to move in great state on all occa- 
sions. He was preceded by twelve men, bear- 
ing badges and insignia, to impress the army 
and the people with a sense of the greatness oJ 
his dignity. To see, therefore, a consul divesf • 
ed of all these marks of his power, and coming 
into the dictator's presence as any other office] 
would come before an acknowledged superior, 
made the army of Fabius feel a very strong 
sense of the greatness of their new commander's 
dignity and power 

174 Hannibal. [B.C 21b 

Proclamation of Fabiu* Progress if II atmibal 

Fabius then issued a proclamation, which he 
sent by proper messengers into all the region of 
t»untry around Rome, especially to that pari 
toward the territory which was in possession of 
Hannibal. In this proclamation he ordered ai] 
the people tc abandon the country and the towns 
which were not strongly fortified, and to seek 
shelter in the castles, and forts, and fortified 
cities. They were commanded, also, to lay 
waste the country which they should leave, and 
destroy all the property, and especially all the 
provisions, which they could not take to their 
places of refuge. This being done, Fabius 
placed himself at the head of the forces which 
he had got together, and moved on, cautiously 
and with great circumspection, in search of his 

In the mean time, Hannibal had crossed ovei 
to the eastern side of Italy, and had passed down, 
conquering and ravaging the country as he went, 
nntil he got considerably south of Rome. He 
aeems to have thought it not quite prudent tn 
idvance to the actual attack of the city, after 
the battle of Lake Thrasymene; for the vast 
uopulation of Rome was sufficient, if rendered 
desperate by his actually threatening the cap- 
ture and pillage of the rity, to overwhelm bis 

BC.216.] The Dictator Fabius. 175 

Policy of Fabiua. He declines fighting 

army entirely. So he moved to the eastward, 
and advanced on that side until he had passed 
the city, and thus it happened that Fabius had 
to march to the southward and eastward in or- 
der to meet him. The two armies came in 
sight of each other quite on the eastern side of 
Italy, very near the shores of the Adriatic Sea. 

The policy which Fabius resolved to adopt 
was, not to give Hannibal battle, but to watch 
him, and wear his army out by fatigue and de- 
lays. He kept, therefore, near him, but always 
posted his army on advantageous ground, which 
all the defiance and provocations of Hannibal 
could not induce him to leave. When Hanni- 
bal moved, which he was soon compelled to do 
to procure provisions, Fabius would move too, 
hut only to post and intrench himself in some 
place of security as before. Hannibal did every 
thing in his power to bring Fabius to battle, 
but all his efforts were unavailing. 

In fact, he himself was at one time in im- 
minent danger. He had got drawn, by Fabi« 
us's good management, into a place where ho 
was surrounded by mountains, upon which Fa - 
bins had posted his troops, and there was only 
one defile which offered any egress, and this, 
too, ^abius had strongly guarded. Hannibal 

17fi Hannibal. [B.C. 2\< 


Hannibal's danger. Stratagem of the fiery oxen 

resorted to his usual resource, cunning and 
stratagem, for means of escape. He collected 
a herd of oxen. He tied fagots across then 
horns, filling the fagots with pitch, so as to make 
them highly combustible. In the night on which 
he was going to attempt to pass the defile, he 
ordered his army to be ready to march through, 
and then had the oxen driven up the hills 
around on the further side of the Roman de- 
tachment which was guarding the pass. The 
fagots were then lighted on the horns of the 
oxen. They ran about, frightened and infuri- 
ated by the fire, which burned their horns to 
the quick, and blinded them with the sparks 
which fell from it. The leaves and branches of 
the forests were set on fire. A great commo- 
tion was thus made, and the guards, seeing the 
moving lights and hearing the tumult, suppos- 
ed that the Carthaginian army were upon the 
heights, and were coming down to attack them. 
They turned out in great hurry and confusion 
to meet the imaginary foe, leaving the pass uu 
guarded, and, while they were pursuing thr 
bonfires on the oxens' heads into all sorts of dan 
gerous and impracticable places, Hannibal qui* 
etlv marched his army through the defile and 
reached a place of safety. 

B.C.216.J Thf Dictator Fabius. 177 

Cnpopularity of Fabius. Hannibal's sagacity 

Although Fabius kept Hannibal employed 
and prevented his approaching the city, still 
there soon began to be felt a considerable de- 
gree of dissatisfaction that he did not act moro 
decidedly. Minucius was continually urging 
him tc gi>^ Hannibal battle, and, not being 
able to induce him to do so, he was continually 
expressing his discontent and displeasure. The 
army sympathized with Minucius. He wrote 
home to Rome too, complaining bitterly of the 
dictator's inefficiency. Hannibal learned all 
this by means of his spies, and other sources of 
information, which so good a contriver as he 
has always at command. Hannibal was, of 
oourse, very- much pleased to hear of these dis- 
sensions, and of the unpopularity of Fabius. 
He considered such an enemy as he — so pru- 
dent, cautious, and watchful — as a far more 
dangerous foe than such bold and impetuous 
commanders as Flaminius and Minucius, whom 
he could always entice into difficulty, and then 
easily conquer. 

Hannibal thought he would render Minucius 
a little help in making Fabius unpopular. He 
found out from some Roman deserters that 
the dictator possessed a valuable farm in the 
country, and he sent a detachment of his troops 

178 Hannibau. [B.C. 216 

Plots against Fabius. He goes to Rome 

there, with orders to plunder and destroy the 
property all around it, but to leave the farm of 
Fabius untouched and in safety. The object 
was to give to the enemies of Fabius at Rome 
occasion to say that there was secretly a good 
understanding between him and Hannibal, and 
that he was kept back from acting boldly us 
defense of his country by some corrupt bargain 
which he had traitorously made with the enemy 

These plans succeeded. Discontent and dis- 
satisfaction spread rapidly, both in the camp 
and in the city. At Rome they made an ur- 
gent demand upon Fabius to return, ostensibly 
Decause they wished him to take part in somo 
great religious ceremonies, but really to remove 
him from the camp, and give Minucius an 
opportunity to attack Hannibal. They als<? 
wished to devise some method, if possible, of 
depriving him of his power. He had been ap- 
pointed for six months, and the time had no* 
yet nearly expired ; but they wished to shorten, 
or, if they could not shorten, to limit and di- 
minish his power. 

Fabius went to Rome, leaving the army un- 
der the orders of Minucius, but commanding 
him positively not to give Hannibal battle, nor 
expose his troops to any danger, but to pursn* 

B.C.216.] The Dictator Fabius. 17? 


Minucius risks a battle. Speech of Fsbiu» 

steadily the same policy which he himself had 
followed. He had, however, been in Rome only 
a short time before tidings came that Minucius 
had fought a battle and gained a victory. There 
were boastful and ostentatious letters from Mi- 
nucius to the Roman senate, lauding the ex- 
ploit which he had performed. 

Fabius examined carefully the accounts. He 
compared one thing with another, and satisfied 
himself of what afterward proved to be the truth, 
that Minucius had gained no victory at all. He 
had lost five or six thousand men, and Hanni 
bal had lost no more, and Fabius showed that 
no advantage had been gained. He urged upon 
the senate the importance of adhering to the 
line of policy he had pursued, and the danger 
of risking every thing, as Minucius had done, 
on the fortunes of a single battle. Besides^ he 
said, Minucius had disobeyed his orders, which 
*vere distinct and positive, and he deserved to 
oo recalled. 

In saying these things Fabius irritated and 
exasperated his enemies more than ever. " Here 
is a man," said they, " who will not only not 
fight the enemies whom he is sent against him- 
self, but ne will not allow any body else to fight 
them. Even at this distance, when his secon I 

180 Hannibal. [B.C. 216 

Fabius returns tj the army. He is deprived of the supreme power 

m command has obtained a victory, he will not 
admit it, and endeavors to curtail the advant- 
ages of it. He wishes to protract the war, that 
lie may the longer continue to enjoy the su* 
prcme and unlimited authority with which wc 
lave intrusted him." 

The hostility to Fabius at last reached such a 
oitch, that it was proposed in an assembly of the 
people to make Minucius his equal in command. 
Fabius, having finished the business which call- 
ed him to Rome, did not wait to attend to the 
discussion of this question, but left the city, and 
was proceeding on his way to join the army again, 
when he was overtaken with a messenger bear- 
ing a letter informing him that the decree had 
passed, and that he must thenceforth consider 
Minucius as his colleague and equal. Minu- 
cius was, of course, extremely elated at this re- 
sult. " Now," said he, " we will see if some- 
thing can not be done " 

The first question was, however, to decide on 
vrhat principle and in what way they should 
share their power. " We can not both command 
at once," said Minucius " Let us exercise the 
power ii alternation, each one being in author- 
ity fcr a day, or a week, or a month, or any 
other period that you prefer " 

B.C 216.J The Dictator Fabius. L81 

Division of power. Ambuscade of Hannibal 

" No," replied Fabius, " we will not divide 
the time, we will divide the men. There are 
four legions. You shall take two of them, and 
the other two shall be mine. I can thus, per- 
haps, save half the army from the dangers in 
which I fear your impetuosity will plunge all 
whom you have under your command." 

This plan was adopted The army was di- 
vided, and each portion went, under its own lead- 
er, to its separate encampment. The result was 
one of the most curious and extraordinary oc- 
currences that is recorded in the history of na- 
tions. Hannibal, who was well informed of all 
these transactions, immediately felt that M in il- 
eitis was in his power. He knew that he wa» 
so eager for battle that it would be easy to en- 
tice him into it, under almost any circumstan- 
ces that he himself might choose to arrange. 
Accordingly, he watched his opportunity when 
there was a good place for an ambuscade near 
Minucius's camp, and lodged five thousand men 
in it in such a manner that they were concealed 
by rocks and other obstructions to the view. 
There was a hill between this ground and the 
camp of Minucius. When the ambuscade was 
*eady, Hannibal sent up a small force to take 
possession of the top of the hill, anticipates 

182 Hannibal. [B.C. 216 

Hannibal's success. Kalius comes to the rescue, 

that Minucius would at once send up a strong- 
er force to drive them away. He did so. Han- 
nibal then sent up more as a re-enforcement. 
Minucius, whose spirit and pride were now 
amused, sent up more still, and thus, by degrees, 
Hannibal drew out his enemy's whole force, 
and then, ordering his own troops to retreat be- 
fore them, the Romans were drawn on, down 
the hill, till they were surrounded by the am- 
buscade. These hidden troops then came pour- 
ing out upon them, and in a short time the Ro- 
mans were thrown into utter confusion, flying 
in all directions before their enemies, and en- 
tirely at their mercy. 

All would have been irretrievably lost had it 
not been for the interposition of Fabius. He 
received intelligence of the danger at his owi 
camp, and marched out at once with all his 
force, and arrived upon the ground so oppor- 
tunely, and acted so efficiently, that he at once 
completely changed the fortune of the day. He 
caved Minucius and his half of the army from 
litter destruction. The Carthaginians retreat- 
ed in their turn, Hannibal being entirely over- 
whelmed with disappointment and vexation at 
being thus deprived of his prey. History relates 
that Minucius had the candor and grod sense, 

B.C.21G.] The Dictator Fabius. IbS 

Speech of M inuciua. The Roman army again united. 

after this, to acknowledge his error, and yield to 
the guidance and direction of Fabius. He call- 
ed his part of the army together when they 
reached their camp, and addressed them thus: 
" Fellow-soldiers, I have often heard it said that 
fchc wisest men are those who possess wisdom 
and sagacity themselves, and, next to them, 
those who know how to perceive and are will- 
ing to be guided by the wisdom and sagacity 
of others ; while they are fools who do not know 
how to conduct themselves, and will not be 
guided by those who do. We will not belong 
to this last class ; and since it is proved that we 
are not entitled to rank with the first, let us 
join the second. We will march to the camp 
of Fabius, and join our camp with his, as before. 
Wo owe to him, and also to all his portion of 
the army, our eternal gratitude for the noble- 
ness of spirit which he manifested in coming to 
our deliverance, when he might so justly havo 
iert us to ourselves." 

The two legions repaired, accordingly, to the 
camp d! Fabius, and a complete and permanent 
reconciliation took place between the two divis- 
ions of the army. Fabius rose very high in the 
general esteem by this transaction. The term 
of his dictatorship, however, exnired soon aftei 

1W4 Hannibal. IB.C. 216 

Character of Fabhw. Hi* Integrity 

this, and as the danger from Hannibal was now 
less imminent, the office was not renewed, but 
consuls were chosen as before. 

The character of Fabius has been regarded 
with the highest admiration by all mankind. 
He evinced a very noble spirit in all that he 
did. One of his last acts was a very striking 
proof of this. He had bargained with Hanni- 
bal to pay a certain sum of money as ransom 
for a number of prisoners which had fallen into 
his hands, and whom Hannibal, on the faith of 
that promise, had released. Fabius believed 
that the Romans would readily ratify the treaty 
and pay the amount ; but they demurred, be- 
ing displeased, or pretending to be displeased, 
because Fabius had not consulted them before 
making the arrangement. Fabius, in order to 
preserve his own and his country's faith unsul- 
litd, sold his farm to raise the money. He lid 
thus most certainly protect and vindicate hia 
own honor, but he can hardly be said to h«rs 
mved that of the people of Rome 

B.C. 215.] Battle of Canna In* 

uatrrest excited by the battle of Cannae. Various military opeiationa 

Chapter IX 

The Battle of Cannes 

FI1HE battle of Cannae was the last great bai 
-*- tie fought by Hannibal in Italy. This con- 
flict has been greatly celebrated in history, not 
only for its magnitude, and the terrible despera- 
tion with which it was fought, but also on ac- 
count of the strong dramatic interest which the 
circumstances attending it are fitted to excite. 
This interest is perhaps, however, quite as much 
due to the peculiar skill of the ancient historian 
who narrates the story, as to the events them- 
selves which he records. 

It was about a year after the close of the dic- 
tatorship of Fabius that this battle was fought. 
That interval had been spent by the Roman 
consuls who were in office during that time in 
various military operations, which did not, how- 
ever, lead to any decisive results. In the mean 
time, there were great uneasiness, discontent, 
and dissatisfaction at Rome. To have such a 
dangerous and terrible foe, at the head of forty 
tnousand men, infesting the vicinage of theii 

L86 Hannibal. | B.C. -J 15 

State of the public mind ttRomc The plebeian* and patricians 

city, ravaging the territories of their friends and 
allies, and threatening continually to attack the 
city itself, was a continual source of anxiety 
and vexation. It mortified the Roman pride, 
too, to find that the greatest armies they could 
raise, and the ablest generals they could choose 
and commission, proved wholly unable to cope 
with the foe. The most sagacious of them, in 
fact, had felt it necessary to decline the contest 
with him altogether. 

This state of things produced a great deal of 
ill humor in the city. Party spirit ran very 
high ; tumultuous assemblies were held ; dis- 
putes and contentions prevailed, and mutuav 
criminations and recriminations without end 
There were two great parties formed : that of 
the middling classes on one side, and the aris- 
tocracy on the other. The former were called 
the Plebeians, the latter the Patricians. The 
division between these two classes was very 
great and very strongly marked. There was, 
ui consequence of it, infinite difficulty in the 
election of consuls. At last the consuls ^ere 
chosen, one from each party. The name A the 
patrician was Paulus /Emilius. The name of 
the plebeian was Varro. They were inducted 
into office, and wer3 thus put jointly into po* 

B.C.215.J Battle of Canna 187 

The consuls JEmilius and Varro. A oaw army raUed. 

session of a vast power, to wield which with 
any efficiency and success would seem to re- 
quire union and harmony in those who held it, 
and yet ./Emilius and Varro were inveterate 
and implacable political foes. It was often so 
in the Roman government. The consulship 
was a double-headed monster, which spent half 
its strength in bitter contests waged between 
its members. 

-^ "The Romans determined now to make an 
effectual effort to rid themselves of their foe. 

<■ They raised an enormous army. It consisted 
of eight legions. The Roman legion was an 
army of itself. It contained ordinarily four 
thousand foot soldiers, and a troop of throe 
hundred horsemen. It was very unusual ta 
have more than two - or three legions in the fie. 
at a time. The Romans, however, on this oc- 
casion, increased the number of the legions, and 
also augmented their size, so that they contain- 
ed, each, five thousand infantry and four hund- 
red cavalry. They were determined to make 
a great and last effort to defend their city, and 
save the commonwealth from ruin. ^Emilius 
and Yarro prepared to take command of this 
great force, with very strong determinations to 
niake it the means of Hannibal's destruction. 

188 Hannibal. [B.C. 215 

Belf-confidence of Varro. Caution of JEm&u* 

The characters of the two commanders, how- 
ever, as well as their political connections, were 
very dissimilar, and they soon began to mani- 
fest a very different spirit, and to assume a 
irery different air and bearing, each from the 
other. ^Bmilius was a friend of Fabius, and 
approved of his policy. Varro was for greater 
promptness and decision. He made great prom- 
ises, and spoke with the utmost confidence of 
being able to annihilate Hannibal at a blow 
He condemned the policy of Fabius in attempt- 
ing to wear out the enemy by delays. He said 
it was a plan of the aristocratic party to pro- 
tract the war, in order to put themselves in 
high offices, and perpetuate their importance 
and influence. The war might have been end- 
ed long ago, he said ; and he would promise the 
people that he would now end it, without fail, 
the very day that he came in sight of Hannibal 

As for iEmilius, he assumed a very different 
tone. He was surprised, he said, that any man 
could pretend to decide before he had even left 
the city, and while he was, of course, entirely 
ignorant, both of the condition of their own 
army, and of the position, and designs, and 
strength of the enemy, how soon and under 
what circumstances it would be wise to give 

B.t\215.| Battle of Vannm. L89 

Views of iEmiliu*. Counsel of Fabins 

him battle. Plans must be formed in adaptation 
to circumstances, as circumstances can not be 
made to alter to suit plans. He believed that 
they should succeed in the encounter with 
Hannibal, but he thought that their only hope 
of success must be based on the exercise of 
prudence, caution, and sagacity; he was sure 
that rashness and folly could only lead in fu- 
ture, as they had always done in the past, to 
discomfiture and ruin. 

It is said that Fabius, the former dictator, 
conversed with ^Emilius before his departure 
for the army, and gave him such counsel as his 
age and experience, and his knowledge of the 
character and operations of Hannibal, suggest- 
ed to his mind. "If you had a colleague like 
yourself," said he, "I would not oiler you any 
advice ; you would not need it. Or, if you 
were yourself like your colleague, vain, self- 
conceited, and presumptuous, then I would bo 
silent ; counsel would be thrown away upon 
you. But as it is, while you have great judg- 
ment and sagacity to guide you, you are to be 
placed in a situation of extreme difficulty and 
peril. If I am not mistaken, the greatest diffi- 
culty you will have to encounter will not be tha 
loon enemy you are going to meet upon the 

L90 Hannibal. [E.G. 21a 

Conver»*tion between Pabltu »nd ^Knillluj. 

field. You will find, 1 think, that Varro will 
give you quite as much trouble as Hannibal 
He will be presumptuous, reckless, and "tread 
strong. He will inspire all the rash and ardent 
young men in the army with his own enthusi 
astic folly, and we shall be very fortunate if 
we do not yet see the terrible and bloody scenes 
of Lake Thrasymene acted again. I am sure 
that the true policy for us to adopt is the one 
which I marked out. That is always the proper 
course for the invaded to pursue with invaders, 
where there is the least doubt of the success of 
a battle. We grow strong while Hannibal 
grows continually weaker by delay. He can 
only prosper so long as he can fight battles and 
perform brilliant exploits. If we deprive him 
of this power, his strength will be continually 
wasting away, and the spirit and courage of 
his men waning. He has now scarce a third 
part of the army which he had when he crossed 
the Iberus, and nothing can save this remnant 
from destruction if we are wise." 

iEmilius said, in reply to this, that he went 
into the contest with very little of encourage- 
ment or hope. If Fabius had found it so diffi- 
cult to withstand the turbulent influences of 
his master of horse, who was his subordinate 

S.L 215.J hMTLK of Van* a. 191 

Resolution of iEiulliuB. The consuls Join the army 

»tficer, and, as such, under his command, how 
could he expect to restrain his colleague, who 
vas entitled, by his office, to full equality with 
him. But, notwithstanding the difficulties which 
be foresaw, he was going to do his duty, and 
ibide by the result ; and if the result should be 
unfavorable, he should seek for death in the con- 
flict, for death by Carthaginian spears was a far 
lighter evil, in his view, than the displeasure 
and censures of his countrymen. 

The consuls departed from Rome to join the 
army, ^Emilias attended by a moderate number 
of men of rank and station, and Varro by a much 
larger train, though it was formed of people of 
the lower classes of society. The army was or- 
ganized, and the arrangements of the encamp- 
ments perfected. One ceremony was that of ad 
ministering an oath to the soldiers, as w T as usu 
al in the Roman armies at the commencement 
of a campaign. They were made to swear that 
they would not desert the army, that they would 
acver abandon the post at which they were sta- 
tioned in fear or in flight, nor leave the ranks ex- 
sept for the purpose of taking up or recovering 
a weapon, striking an enemy, or protecting t 
friend. These and other arrangements being 
completed, the army was ready for tne field 

192 Hannibal. (B.C. 215 

Situation of HunnibaL Scarcity of food 

The consuls made a different arrangement in 
respect to the division of their power from that 
adopted by Fabius and Flaminius. It was 
agreed between them that they would exercise 
their common authority alternately, each for a 

In the mean time, Hannibal began to fmd him- 
self reduced to great difficulty in obtaining pro- 
visions for his men. The policy of Fabius had 
been so far successful as to place him in a very 
embarrassing situation, and one growing more 
and more embarrassing every day. Yd coald 
obtain no food except what he got by plunder, 
and there was now very little opportunity for 
that, as the inhabitants of the country had car- 
ried off all the grain and deposited it in strong- 
ly-fortified towns : and though Hannibal had 
great confidence in his power to cope with the 
Roman army in a regular battle on an open 
field, he had not strength sufficient to reduce 
citadels or attack fortified camps. His stork 
of provisions had become, therefore, more and 
more nearly exhausted, until now he had a sup- 
ply for only ten days, and he saw no possible 
mode of increasing it. 

His great object was, therefore, to bring :n 
a battle Varro was ready and willing to give 

B.C.215.] Battle of Cann^. 19^ 

bufferings of Hannibal's troops. Defeat of a foraging party 

him battle, but iEmilius, or, to call him by his 
name in full, Paulus ^Emilius, which is the ap- 
pellation by which he is more frequently known, 
was very desirous to persevere in the Fabian 
policy till the ten days had expired, after which 
ho knew that Hannibal must be reduced to ex- 
treme distress, and might have to surrender at 
once to save his army from actual famine. In 
fact, it was said that the troops were on such 
short allowance as to produce great discontent, 
and that a large body of Spaniards were pre- 
paring to desert and go over together to the Ro- 
man camp. 

Things were in this state, when, one day, 
Hannibal sent out a party from his camp to pro- 
cure food, and ^Emilius, who happened to hold 
the command that day, sent out a strong force 
to intercept them. He was successful. Tho 
Carthaginian detachment was routed. Near'y 
two thousand men were killed, and the rest fled, 
by any roads they could find, back to Hanni- 
bal's camp. Varro was very eager to follow 
them there, but ^Emilius ordered his men to 
halt. He was afraid of some trick or treachery 
on the part of Hannibal, and was disposed to be 
satisfied with the victory he had already won. 

This little success, however, only inflamed 

i c J4 Hjnnibal. [B.C. 215 

Hannibal's pretended abandonment of his camp. 

Y 7 arro's ardur for a battle, and produced a gen- 
eral enthusiasm in the Roman army ; and, a day 
or two afterward, a circumstance occurred which 
raised this excitement to the highest pitch. 
Some reconnoiterers, who had been stationed 
within sight of Hannibal's camp to watch the 
motions and indications there, sent in word to 
the consuls that the Carthaginian guards around 
their encampment had all suddenly disappeared, 
and that a very extraordinary aod unusual si 
lence reigned within. Parties of the Roman 
soldiers went up gradually and cautiously to 
the Carthaginian lines, and soon found that the 
camp was deserted, though the fires were still 
burning and the tents remained. This intelli- 
gence, of course, put the whole Roman army 
into a fever of excitement and agitation. They 
crowded around the consuls' pavilions, and clam- 
orously insisted on being led on to take posses- 
sion of the camp, and to pursue the enemy. 
" He has fled," they said, " and with such pre- 
cipitation that he has left the tents standing and 
his fires still burning. Lead us on in pursuit 
of him.' 

Varro was as much excited as the rest He 
was eager for action. ^Emilius hesitated. Ho 
made particular inquiries He said they ought 

B.C.215.] Battle of Cann^. 195 

Mission of Statilius. The stratagem discovered 

to proceed with caution. Finally, he called up 
a certain prudent and sagacious officer, named 
Statilius, and ordered him to take a small body 
»f horsemen, ride over to the Carthaginian camp, 
ascertain the facts exactly, and report the re- 
sult. Statilius did so. When he reached the 
lines he ordered his troops to halt, and took 
with him two horsemen on whose courage and 
strength he could rely, and rode in. The three 
horsemen rode around the camp and examined 
every thing with a view of ascertaining whether 
Hannibal had really abandoned his position and 
fled, or whether some stratagem was intended. 
When he came back he reported to the army 
that, in his opinion, the desertion of the camp 
was not real, but a trick to draw the Romans 
into some difficulty. The fires were the larg- 
est on the side toward the Romans, which indi- 
cated that they were built to deceive. He saw 
money, too, and other valuables strewed about 
upon the ground, which appeared to him much 
more like a bait set in a trap, than like property 
ibandoned by fugitives as incumbrances to flight 
Varrc was not convinced ; and the army, hear- 
ing of the money, were excited to a greater ea- 
gerness for plunder. They could hardly be re- 
strained. Just then, however, two slaves that 

196 Hannibal. [B.C. 213 

Chagrin of Hannital and the Romans. Apulia 

had been taken prisoners by the Carthaginians 
some time before, came into the Roman camp. 
They told the consuls that the whole Cartha- 
ginian force was hid in ambush very near, wait- 
ing for the Romans to enter their encampment, 
when they were going to surround them and 
cut them to pieces. In the bustle and mo\e- 
ment attendant on this plan, the slaves had es- 
caped. Of course, the Roman army were now 
satisfied. They returned, chagrined and dis- 
appointed, to their own quarters, and Hannibal, 
still more chagrined and disappointed, returned 
to his. 

He soon found, however, that he could not 
remain any longer where he was. His provis- 
ions were exhausted, and he could obtala nc 
more. The Romans would not come out of 
their encampment to give him battle on equal 
terms, and they were too strongly intrenched 
to be attacked where they were. He determ- 
ined, therefore, to evacuate that part of the coun- 
try, and move, by a sudden march, into Apulia, 

Apulia was on the eastern side of Italy. The 
River Aufidus runs through it, having a town 
named Cannae near its mouth. The region of 
the Aufidus was a warm and sunny valley, 
which was now waving with ripening grain 

B.C. 215.] Battle of Cann^e. i l J/ 

Hannibal marches into Apulia. The Romans follow hira 

Being further south than the place where he 
had been, and more exposed to the influence of 
the sun, Hannibal thought that the crops would 
be sooner ripe, and that, at least, he should have 
a new field to plunder. 

] Ie accordingly decided now to leave his camp 
in earnest, and move into Apulia. He made 
the same arrangements as before, when his de- 
parture was a mere pretense. He left tents 
pitched and fires burning, but marched his 
army off the ground by night and secretly, so 
that the Romans did not perceive his departure ; 
and the next day, when they saw the appear- 
ances of silence and solitude about the camp, 
they suspected another deception, and made no 
move themselves. At length, however, intel- 
ligence came that the long columns of Hanni- 
bal's army had been seen already far to the 
eastward, and moving on as fast as possible, 
with all their baggage. The Romans, after 
much debate and uncertainty, resolved to fol- 
low. The eagles of the Apennines looked down 
upon the two great moving masses, creeping 
slowly along through the forests and valleys, 
like swarms of insects, one following the other 
led on by a strange bu* strong attraction, draw. 
Jig them toward each uther when at a distance 

198 Hannibal. [B.C. 215 

The new encampments. Dissensions between the consuls 

but kept asunder by a still stronger repulsiun 
when near. 

The Roman army came up with that of JTan- 
nibal on the River Aufidus, near Cannae, and 
fie two vast encampments were formed with 
vl the noise and excitement attendant on th8 
movements of two great armies posting them- 
selves on the eve of a battle, in the neighbor- 
hood of each other. In the Roman camp, the 
confusion was greatly aggravated by the angry 
disputes which immediately arose between the 
consuls and their respective adherents as to the 
course to be pursued. Varro insisted on giv- 
ing the Carthaginians immediate battle. iEmil- 
ius refused. Varro said that he must protest 
against continuing any longer these inexcusa- 
ble delays, and insist on a battle. He could 
not oonsent to be responsible any further for 
allowing Italy to lie at the mercy of such a 
scourge. ^Eminus replied, that if Varro did 
precipitate a battle, he himse.f protested against 
his rashness, and could not be, in any degree, 
responsible for the result. The various officers 
took sides, some with one consul and some with 
the other, but most with Varro. The dissension 
filled the camp with excitement, agitation, and 
ill will. 

B.C. 215.T Battle of Cannjs. 199 


Flight of the Inhabitant*. Maneuveia 

In the mean time, the inhabitants of the 
country into which these two vast hordes of 
ferocious, though restrained and organized com- 
batants, had made such a sudden irruption, 
were flying as fast as they could from the aw- 
ful scene which they expected was to ensue. 
They carried from their villages and cabins 
what little property could be saved, and took 
the women and children away to retreats and 
fastnesses, wherever they imagined they could 
find temporary concealment or protection. The 
news of the movement of the two armies spread 
throughout the country, carried by hundreds ol 
refugees and messengers, and all Italy, looking 
on with suspense and anxiety, awaited the result 

The armies maneuvered for a day or two, 
Varro, during his term of command, making 
arrangements to promote and favor an action, 
and ^Emilius, on the following day, doing every 
thing in his power to prevent it. In the end, 
Varro succeeded The lines were formed and 
the battle must be begun. ^Emilius gave up 
the contest now, and while he protested earnest 
ly against the course which Varro pursued, ha 
prepared to do all in his power to prevent a de- 
feat, since there was r.o longer a possibility of 
avoiding a collision. 

400 Hannibal. [B.C. 215 

The oattle of Cannaa. Another strat&garo 

The battle began, and the reader must imag- 
ine the scene, since no pen can describe it. Fif- 
ty thousand men on one side and eighty thou» 
Band on the other, at wcrk hard and steadily, 
for six hours, killing each other by ever/ possi- 
ble means of destruction — stabs, blows, strug- 
gles, outcries, shouts of anger and defiance, and 
screams of terror and agony, all mingled to- 
gether, in one general din, which covered the 
whole country for an extent of many miles, all 
together constituted a scene of horror of whick 
none but those who have witnessed great battles 
can form any adequate idea. 

It seems as if Hannibal could do nothing 
without stratagem. In the early part of this 
conflict he sent a large body of his troops over 
to the Romans as deserters. They threw down 
their spears and bucklers, as they reached the 
Roman lines, in token of surrender. The Ro- 
mans received them, opened a passage for them 
through into the rear, and ordered them to re- 
main there. As they were apparently unarm- 
ed, they left only a very small guard to >eor 
them in custody. The men had, however, dag 
gers concealed about their dress, and, watoning 
a favorable moment, in the midst of the battle, 
thev sprang to their feet, irew out their weap- 

B.C 215.] Battle of Cann^. 20] 

Defeat of the Romans. jEmilius wounded 

ons, broke away from their guard, and attacked 
the Romans in the rear at a moment when they 
were so pressed by the enemy in front that they 
could scarcely maintain their ground. 

It was evident before many hours that the 
Roman forces were every where yielding. From 
slowly and reluctantly yielding they soon began 
to fly. In the flight, the weak and the wound- 
ed were trampled under foot by the throng who 
were pressing on behind them, or were dispatch* 
ed by wanton blows from enemies as they pass- 
ed in pursuit of those who were still able to fly. 
In the midst of this scene, a Roman officer nam- 
ed Lentulus, as he was riding away, saw before 
him at the road-side another officer wounded, 
sitting upon a stone, faint and bleeding. He 
stopped when he reached him, and found that it 
was the consul ^Emilius. He had been wound- 
ed in the head with a sling, and his strength 
was almost gone. Lentulus offered him his 
horse, and urged him to take it and fly. ^Emil- 
ros declined the offer. He said it was too late 
for his life to be saved, and that, besides, he had 
no wish to save it. " Go on, therefore, your- 
self," said he, " as fast as you can. Make the 
best of your way to Rome. Tell the authorities 
there, from me, that all is lost, and they must 

202 H.vnmbal. [B.C. 215 

Death of iEmilitu. Escape of Varra 

do whatever they can themselves for the defense 
of the city. Make all the speed you can, or 
Hannibal will be at the gates before you." 

^Emilius sent also a message to Fabius, de« 
filaring to him that it was not his fault that a 
batile had been risked with Hannibal. He had 
done all in his power, he said, to prevent it, and 
had adhered to the policy which Fabius had 
recommended to the last. Lentulus having re- 
ceived these messages, and perceiving that the 
Carthaginians were close upon him in pursuit, 
rode away, leaving the consul to his fate. The 
Carthaginians came on, and, on seeing the 
wounded man, they thrust their spears into his 
body, one after another, as they passed, until 
his limbs ceased to quiver. As for the other 
consul, Varro, he escaped with his life. At- 
tended by about seventy horsemen, he made his 
way to a fortified town not very remote from 
the battle-field, where he halted with his horse- 
men, and determined that he would attempt i# 
rally there the remains of the army. 

The Carthaginians, when they found the vies 
tory complete, abandoned the pursuit of the en- 
emy, returned to their camp, spent some hours 
in feasting and rejoicing, and then laid down to 
ileep. They were, of course, weJ. exhausted 

B.C. 215.] Battle of Cannjj 203 

Condition of the battle-field. The wounded and dying 

by the intense exertions of the day. On the 
field where the battle had been fought, the 
wounded lay all night mingled with the dead, 
filling the air with cries and groans, and writh- 
ing in their agony. 

Early the next morning the Carthaginians 
oame back to the field to plunder the dead bod- 
ies of the Romans. The whole field presented 
a most shocking spectacle to the view. The 
bodies of horses and men lay mingled in dread- 
ful confusion, as they had fallen, some dead, oth- 
ers still alive, the men moaning, crying for wa- 
ter, and feebly struggling from time to time to 
disentangle themselves from the heaps of car- 
casses under which they were buried. The dead- 
ly and inextinguishable hate which the Cartha- 
ginians felt for their foes not having been ap- 
peased by the slaughter of forty thousand of 
them, they beat down and stabbed these wretch- 
ed lingerers wherever they found them, as a sort 
of morning pastime after the severer labort of 
the preceding day. This slaughter, howe^r, 
could hardly be considered a cruelty to the 
wretched victims of it, for many of them bared 
their breasts to their assailants, and begged for 
the blow which was to put an end to their pain. 
Tn exploring the field, one Carthaginian soHie? 

204 Hannibal fRC. 215 

The Roman and Carthaginian soldier. Immense plunder 

was found still alive, but imprisoned by the dead 
body of his Roman enemy lying upon him. The 
Carthaginian's face and ears were shockingly 
mangled. The Roman, having fallen upon hiir 
when both were mortally wonnded, had contin- 
ued the combat with his teeth when he could 
no longer use his weapon, and had died at last, 
binding down his exhausted enemy with his own 
dead body. 

The Carthaginians secured a vast amount of 
plunder. The Roman army was full of officers 
and soldiers from the aristocratic ranks of soci- 
ety, and their arms and their dress were very 
valuable. The Carthaginians obtained some 
bushels of gold rings from their fingers, which 
Hannibal sent to Carthage as a trophy of hi* 

B.C. 215.] Scipio. 205 

Reason of Hannibal's success. The Bolpios 

Chapter X. 


fllHE true reason why Hannibal could nol 
-*■ be arrested in his triumphant career seems 
not to have been because the Romans did not 
pursue the right kind of policy toward him, but 
because, thus far, they had no general who was 
his equal. Whoever was sent against him soon 
proved to be his inferior. Hannibal could out- 
maneuver them all in stratagem, and could con- 
quer them on the field. There was, however, 
now destined to appear a man capable of coping 
with Hannibal. It was young Scipio, the one 
who saved the life of his father at the battle of 
Ticinus. This Scipio, though the son of Han- 
nibal's first great antagonist of that name, is 
commonly called, in history, the elder Scipio , 
for there was another of his name after him, 
who was greatly celebrated for his wars against 
the Carthaginians in Africa. These last two 
received from the Roman people the surname 
of Africanus, in honor of their African victories*, 
and the one who now comes upon the stage was 

206 Hannibal. [B.C. 215 

Fragment* of the Roman army. Soipio elected commander 

called Scipio Africanus the elder, or sometimes 
simply the elder Scipio. The deeds of the Soipio 
who attempted to stop Hannibal at the Rhone 
and upon the Po were so wholly eclipsed by 
his son, and by the other Scipio who followed 
him, that the former is left out of view and 
forgotten in designating and distinguishing the 

Our present Scipio first appears upon the 
stage, in the exercise of military command, aft- 
er the battle of Cannae. He was a subordinate 
officer and on the day following the battle he 
found himseif at a place called Canusium, which 
was at a short distance from Cannae, on the way 
toward Rome, with a number of other officers 
of his own rank, and with broken masses and 
detachments of the army coming in from time 
to time, faint, exhausted, and in despair. The 
rumor was that both consuls were killed. These 
fragments of the army had, therefore, no one io 
command them. The officers met together, and 
unanimously agreed to make Scipio their com- 
uander in the emergency, until seme superior 
officer should arrive, or they shou d get orders 
from Rome. 

An incident here occurred which showed, in 
a striking point of view, the boldness and energy 

B.C. 215.] Slipio. 207 

Scipio's energy. Case of Metellua 

of the young Scipio's character. At the very 
meeting in which he was placed in command, 
and when they were overwhelmed with perplex- 
iry and care, an officer came in, and reported 
that in another part of the camp there was an 
assembly of officers and young men of rank, 
headed by a certain Metellus, who had decided 
to give up the cause of their country in despair, 
and that they were making arrangements to 
proceed immediately to the sea-coast, obtain 
ships, and sail away to seek a new home in 
some foreign lands, considering their cause in 
Italy as utterly lost and ruined. The officer 
proposed that they should call a council and de- 
liberate what was best to do. 

M Deliberate !" said Scipio ; " this is not a 
case for deliberation, but for action. Draw your 
swords and follow me." So saying, he pressed 
forward at the head of the party to the quarters 
of Metellus. They marched boldly into the 
apartment where he and his friends we B in con- 
sultation. Scipio held up his sword, and in i 
7ery solemn manner pronounced an oath, bind- 
ing himself not to abandon his country in this 
the hour of her distress, nor to allow any other 
Roman citizen to abandon her. If he should be 
guilty of such treason, he called upon Jupiter, b* 

208 Hannibal. [B.C. 215. 

Metellus yields. Consternation at Rome 

the most dreadful imprecations, to destroy him 
utterly, house, family, fortune, soul, and body. 

" And now, Metellus, I call upon you," said 
he, " and all who are with you, to take the 
same oath. You must do it, otherwise you 
have got to defend yourselves against these 
swords of ours, as well as those of the Cartha- 
ginians." Metellus and his party yielded. Noi 
was it wholly to fear that they yielded. It was 
to the influence of hope quite as much as to 
that of fear. The courage, the energy, and the 
martial ardor which Scipio's conduct evinced 
awakened a similar spirit in them, and made 
them hope again that possibly their country 
might yet be saved. 

The news of the awful defeat and destruction 
of the Roman army flew swiftly to Rome, and 
produced universal consternation. The whole 
city was in an uproar. There were soldiers in 
the army from almost every family, so that ev- 
ery woman and child throughout the city was 
distracted by the double agitation of inconsola* 
tie grief at the death of their husband or their 
father, slain in the battle, and of terrible fear 
that Hannibal and his raging followers we™ 
about to burst ii through the gates of the city 
to murder them. The streets of the oitv. aw 1 

B.C.215.J Scino. 209 

The senate adjourns Hannibal refuses to march to Rome, 

especially the Forum, were thronged with vast 
crowds of men, women, and children, who filled 
the air with loud lamentations, and with cries 
of terror and despair. 

The magistrates were not able to restore 01- 
aer. The senate actually adjourned, that the 
members of it miglrt go about the city, and use 
their influence and their power to produce si- 
lence at least, if they could not restore compos- 
ure. The streets were finally cleared. The 
women and children were ordered to remain at 
home. Armed patrols were put on guard to 
prevent tumultuous assemblies forming. Men 
were sent off on horseback on the road to Canu- 
sium and Cannse, to get more accurate intelli- 
gence, and then the senate assembled again, and 
began to consider, with as much of calmness as 
they could command, what was to be done. 

The panic at Rome was, however, in some 
ueasure, a false aiarm, for Hannibal, contrary 
to the expectation of all Italy, did not go to 
Rome. His generals urged him very strongly 
to do sc Nothing could orevent, they said, his 
gaining immediate possession of the city. But 
Hannibal refused to do this. Rome was strongly 
fortified, and had an immense population. His 
army, too, was much weakened bv the battle of 


210 Hannibal. [BC. 214 

Hannibal makes his bead-quarters at Capua. 

Cannae, and he seems to have thought it moat 
prudent not to attempt the reduction of Rome 
until he should have received re-enforcements 
from home. It was now so late in the season 
that he could not expect such re-enforcemonta 
immediately, and he accordingly determined to 
select some place more accessible than Romf 
and make it his head-quarters for the winter 
He decided in favor of Capua, which was a 
large and powerful city one or two hundred 
miles southeast of Rome. 

Hannibal, in fact, conceived the design of re- 
taining possession of Italy and of making Capua 
the capital of the country, leaving Rome to it- 
self, to decline, as under such circumstances it 
inevitably must, to the rank of a second city. 
Perhaps he was tired of the fatigues and haz- 
ards of war, and having narrowly escaped ruin 
before the battle of Cannae, he now resolved that 
he would not rashly incur any new dangers. 
It was a great question with him whether he 
should go forward to Rome, or attempt to build 
up a new capital of his own at Capua. The 
question which of these two he ought to have 
lone was a matter of great debate then, and it 
has been discussed a great deal by military men 
in every age since his day. Rigtt or wrong, 

B.C.214] Scipio. 21] 

Ilannibal sends Mago to Carthage. Mago's speech 

Hannibal decided to establish his own capital 
at Capua, and to leave Rome, for the present 

He, however, sent immediately to Carthage 
for re-enforcements. The messenger whom he 
sent was one of his generals named Mago. 
Mago made the best of his way to Carthage 
with his tidings of victory and his bushel of 
rings, collected, as has been already said, from 
the field of Cannae. The city of Carthage was 
greatly excited by the news which he brought. 
The friends and patrons of Hannibal were elat- 
ed with enthusiasm and pride, and they taunt- 
ed and reproached his enemies with the opposi- 
tion to him they had manifested when he was 
originally appointed to the command of * he ar- 
my of Spain. 

Mago met the Carthaginian senate, and in a 
very spirited and eloquent speech he told them 
how many glorious battles Hannibal had fuught, 
and how many victories he had won. He had 
contended with the greatest generals that the 
Romans could bring against him, and had con- 
quered them all. He had slain, ^e said, in all, 
over two hundred thousand men. All Italy was 
now subject to his power ; Capua was his capi 
tal, and Rome had fallen. He concluded b* 

812 Hannibal. [B.C. 214 

The bag of rings. Debate in the Carthaginian senate 

saying that Hannibal was in need of considera 
bie additional supplies of men, and money, and 
provisions, which he did not doubt the C'artha- 
ginians would send without any unnecessary 
delay. He then produced before the senate the 
great bag of rings which he had brought, and 
poured them upon the pavement of the senate- 
house as a trophy of the victories which he had 
been announcing. 

This would, perhaps, have all been very well 
for Hannibal if his friends had been contented 
to have left the case where Mago left it ; but 
some of them could not resist the temptation of 
taunting his enemies, and especially Hanno, 
who, as will be recollected, originally opposed 
his being sent to Spain They turned to him, 
and asked him triumphantly what he thought 
now of his factious opposition to so brave a 
warrior. Hanno rose. The senate looked to- 
ward him and were profoundly silent, wonder- 
ing what he would have co reply. Hanno, 
with an air of perfect ease and composure, 
gpoke somewhat as follows : 

" I should have said nothing, but should have 
allowed the senate to take what action they 
oleased on Mago's proposition if I had not been 
particularly addressed. As it is. I will say that 

BC.211.J Scipio. 211 

The speech of Hanno in the Carthaginian senate. 

[ think now just as I always have thought 
We are plunged into a most costly and most 
useless war, and are, as I conceive, no nearer 
the end of it now than ever, notwithstanding 
ail these boasted successes. The emptiness of 
them is clearly shown by the inconsistency of 
Hannibal's pretensions as to what he has don<\j 
with the demands that he makes in respect tc 
what he wishes us to do. He says he has con- 
quered all his enemies, and yet he wants us to 
send him more soldiers. He has reduced all 
Italy — the most fertile country in the world — 
to subjection, and reigns over it at Capua, and 
yet he calls upon us for corn. And then, to 
crown all, he sends us bushels of gold rings as 
a specimen of the riches he has obtained by 
plunder, and accompanies the offering with a 
demand for new supplies of money. In my 
opinion, his success is all illusive and bollow. 
There seems to be nothing substantial in hit* 
situation except his necessities, and the heavy 
burdens upon the state which these necessities 

Notwithstanding Hanno's sarcasms, the Car- 
thaginians resolved to sustain Hannibal, and to 
send him the supplies that he needed. They 
were, however, long in reaching him. Varou? 

214 Haaaibal. [B.C. 214 

Progress of the war. Enervation of Hannibal's army 

difficulties and delays occurred. The Romans 
though they could not dispossess Hannibal frorr 
his position in Italy, raised armies in different 
countries, and waged extended wars with the 
Carthaginians and their allies, in various parts 
of the world, both by sea and land. 

The result was, that Hannibal remained fif- 
teen or sixteen years in Italy, engaged, during 
all this time, in a lingering struggle with the 
Roman power, without ever being able to ac- 
complish any decisive measures. During this 
period he was sometimes successful and victori- 
ous, and sometimes he was very hard pressed 
by his enemies. It is said that his army was 
very much enervated and enfeebled by the com- 
forts and luxuries they enjoyed at Capua. Cap- 
ua was a very rich and beautiful city, and the 
inhabitants of it had opened their gates to Han- 
nibal of their own accord, preferring, as they 
said, his alliance to that of the Romans. Tin 
officers — as the officers of an army almost al- 
ways do, when they find themselves established 
in a rich and powerful city, after the fatigues 
of a long and honorable campaign — gave them- 
selves up to festivities and rejoicing, to games, 
shows, and entertainments of every kind, which 
they soon learned infinitely to prefer to the tofl 
md danger of rnarches and battles. 

B.C. 214.] Scipio. 2U 

Decline of the Carthaginian power. MarceDu* 

Whatever may have been the cause, there i> 
do question about the fact that, from the time 
Hannibal and his army got possession of their 
aomfortable quarters in Capua, the Carthagin- 
ian power began gradually to decline. As Han- 
aibal determined to make that city the Italian 
capital instead of Rome, he, of course, when es- 
tablished there, felt in some degree settled and 
at home, and was less interested than he had 
been in plans for attacking the ancient capital 
Still, the war went on ; many battles were 
fought, many cities were besieged, the Roman 
power gaining ground all the time, though not, 
however, by any very decisive victories. 

In these contests there appeared, at length, a 
new Roman general named Marcellus, and, ei- 
ther on account of his possessing a bolder and 
more active temperament, or else in consequence 
of the change in the relative strength of the two 
contending powers, he pursued a more aggress- 
ive policy than Pabius had thought it prudent 
to attempt. Marcellus was, however, cautioua 
and wary in his enterprises, and he laid his 
plans with so much sagacity and skill that he 
was almost always successful. The Romans 
applauded very highly his activity and ardor, 
without, however, forgetting their obligation* 

216 Hannibal. [B.C.214 

Success of the Romans. S.ege of Capua 

to Fabius for his caution and defensive reserve. 
They said that Marcellus was the sword oi 
(heir commonwealth, as Fabius had been its 

The Romans continued to prosecute this sort 
of warfare, being more and more successful the 
longer they continued it, until, at last, they ad- 
vanced to the very walls of Capua, and threat- 
ened it with a siege. Hannibal's intrenchments 
and fortifications were too strong for them to 
attempt to carry the city by a sudden assault, 
nor were the Romans even powerful enough to 
invest the place entirely, so as completely to 
shut their enemies in. They, however, en- 
camped with a large army in the neighbor- 
hood, and assumed so threatening an attitude 
as to keep Hannibal's forces within in a state 
of continual alarm. And, besides the alarm, it 
was very humiliating and mortifying to Car- 
thaginian pride to find the very seat of their 
power, as it were, shut up and overawed by an 
wiemy over whom they had been triumphing 
themselves so short a time before, by a contin- 
ued series of victories. 

Hannibal was not himself in Capua at the 
time that the Romans came to attack it. He 
marched, however, immediately to its relief, and 

B.C. 214.] Scipio. 217 

Hanniba r 8 attack on the Roman camp. He marche* to Roma 

attacking the Romans in his turn, endeavored 
to compel them to raise the siege, as it is tech 
nically termed, and retire. They had, however, 
so intrenched themselves in the positions that 
they had taken, and the assaults with which he 
encountered them had lost so much of their 
former force, that he could accomplish nothing 
decisive. He then left the ground with his 
army, and marched himself toward Rome. He 
encamped in the vicinity of the city, and threat- 
ened to attack it ; but the walls, and castles, 
and towers with which Rome, as well as Capua, 
was defended, were too formidable, and the 
preparations for defense too complete, to make 
it prudent for him really to assail the city. His 
object was to alarm the Romans, and compel 
them to withdraw their forces from his capital 
that they might defend their own. 

There was, in fact, some degree of alarm 
awakened, and in the discussions which took 
place among the Roman authorities, the with- 
drawal of their troops from Capua was propos- 
ed ; but this proposal was overruled ; even Fa- 
bius was against it. Hannibal was no longer 
to be feared. They ordered back a small de- 
tachment from Capua, and added to it such 
forces as they sould raise within tre city, and 

218 Hannibal [B.C. 214 

Preparations for a battle. Prevented by storm* 

then advanced to give Hannibal battle. The 
preparations were ail made, it is said, for an en- 
gag 3ment, but a violent storm came on, so vio- 
lent as to drive the combatants back to their 
respective camps. This happened, the great 
Roman historian gravely says, two or three 
times in succession ; tbe weather immediately 
becoming serene again, each time, as soon as 
the respective generals had withdrawn their 
troops from the intended fight. Something like 
this may perhaps have occurred, though the 
fact doubtless was that both parties were 
afraid, each of the other, and were disposed to 
avail themselves of any excuse to postpone a 
decisive conflict. There was a time when Han- 
nibal had not been deterred from attacking the 
Romans even by the most tempestuous storms 
Thus, though Hannibal did, in fact, in the 
end, get to the walls of Rome, he did nothing 
but threaten when he was there, and his en- 
campment near the city can only be considered 
is a bravado. His presence seems to have ex- 
cited very little apprehension within the city 
The Romans had, in fact, before this time, lost 
their terror of the Carthaginian arms. To show 
their contempt of Hannibal, they sold, at public 
auction the land on which \.n was encamped, 

lit X)6.] Scipio. 219 

Bale* at jcdon. Hasdrubal crosses the Alps 

while he was upon it besieging the city, and it 
brought the usual price. The bidders were > 
perhaps, influenced somewhat by a patriotic 
spirit, and by a desire to taunt Hannibal with 
in expression of their opinion that his occupa- 
tion of the land would be a very temporary en- 
cumbrance. Hannibal, to revenge himself for 
this taunt, put up for sale at auction, in his own 
camp, the shops of one of the principal streets 
of Rome, and they were bought by his officers 
with great spirit. It showed that a great change 
had taken place in the nature of the contest be- 
tween Carthage and Rome, to find these vast 
powers, which were a few years before grap- 
pling each other with such destructive and ter- 
rible fury on the Po and at Cannae, now satis- 
fying their declining animosity with such squib- 
bing as this. 

When* the other modes by which Hannibal 
attempted to obtain re-enforcements failed, he 
made an attempt to have a second army brought 
over the Alps under the command of his broth- 
er Hasdrubal. It was a large army, and in their 
march they experienced the same difficulties, 
though in a much lighter degree, that Hanniba. 
had himself encountered. And yet, of the whole 
mighty mass which set out from Spain, notb- 

220 Hannibal. [B.C. 206 

Li vi-ia «nd Nero. Division of the province! 

ing reached Hannibal except his brother's head 
The circumstances of the unfortunate termina- 
tion of HasdrubaPs attempt were as follows : 

When Hasdrubal descended from the Alps, 
rejoicing in the successful manner in which he 
had surmounted those formidable barriers, he 
imagined that all his difficulties were over. He 
dispatched couriers to his brother Hannibal, in 
forming him that he had scaled the mountains, 
md that he was coming on as rapidly as possi- 
ole to his aid. 

The two consuls in office at this time were 
named, the one Nero, and the other Livius 
To each of these, as was usual with the Roman 
consuls, was assigned a particular province, and 
a certain portion of the army to defend it, and 
the laws enjoined it upon them very strictly not 
to leave their respective provinces, on any pre- 
text whatever, without authority from the Ro- 
man Legislature. In this instance Livius had 
oeen assigned to the northern part of Italy, and 
Nero to the southern. It devolved upon Livius, 
therefore, to meet and give battle to Hasdruba? 
on his descent from the Alps, and to Nero tc 
remain in the vicinity of Hannibal, to thwart 
his plans, oppose his progress, and, if possible 
conquer and destroy him, while his colleague 

B.C.206.J dcipiu. 22 

The Intercepted letters. Nero's perplexity 

prevented his receiving the expected re-enforce- 
ments from Spain. 

Things being in this state, the couriers whom 
Ilasdrubal sent with his letters had the vigi- 
lance of both consuls to elude before they could 
deliver them into Hannibal's hands. They did 
succeed in passing Livius, but they were inter- 
cepted by Nero. The patrols who seized these 
messengers brought them to Nero's tent. Nero 
opened and read the letters. All Hasdrubal's 
plans and arrangements were detailed in them 
very fully, so that Nero perceived that, if he 
were at once to proceed to the northward with 
a strong force, he could render his colleague such 
aid as, with the knowledge of Hasdrubal's plans, 
which he had obtained from the letters, would 
probably enable them to defeat him ; whereas, 
if he were to leave Livius in ignorance and 
alone, he feared that Hasdrubal would be suc- 
cessful in breaking his way through, and in ulti- 
mately effecting his junction with Hannibal. 
Under these circumstances, he was, of course, 
rery earnestly desirous of going northward to 
render the necessary aid, but he was strictly for- 
bidden by law to leave his own province to ente? 
that of his colleague without an authority from 
Rome, which there was not now time to obtain 

222 Hannibal. [B.C. 206 

Laws of military discipline. Their Btrictneas and aeverity. 

The laws of military discipline are very strict 
and imperious, and in theory they are never tc 
be disobeyed. Officers and soldiers, of all ranks 
and gradations, must obey the orders which they 
receive from the authority above them, without 
looking at the consequences, or deviating from 
the line marked out on any pretext whatever. 
It is, in fact, the very essence of military sub- 
ordination and efficiency, that a command, once 
given, suspends all exercise of judgment or dis- 
cretion on the part of the one to whom it is ad 
dressed ; and a good general or a good govern 
ment would prefer generally that harm should 
be done by a strict obedience to commands, 
rather than a benefit secured by an unauthor- 
ized deviation from them. It is a good prin- 
ciple, not only ir war, but in all those cases in 
social life where men have to act in concert, and 
yet wish to secure efficiency in action. 

And yet there are cases of exception — case* 
where the necessity is so urgent, or the advant* 
iges to be derived are so great; where the ir> 
terests involved are so momentous, and the sue- 
oess so sure, that a commander cone udes to 
dkobey and take the responsibility. The re- 
sponsibility is, however, very great, and the 
danger in assuming it extreme. He who in- 

BC.206.] Scipio. 223 

Danger of violating discipline An illustration. 

curs it makes himself liable to the severest 
penalties, from which nothing but clear proof 
of the most imperious necessity, and, in addi- 
tion to it, the most triumphant success, can save, 
him. There is somewhere in English history 
& story of a naval commander, in the service of 
an English queen, who disobeyed the orders of 
his superiors at one time, in a case of great 
emergency at sea, and gained by so doing a very 
important victory. Immediately afterward he 
placed himself under arrest, and went into port 
as a prisoner accused of crime instead of a com- 
mander triumphing in his victory. He sur- 
rendered himself to the queen's officers of jus- 
tice, and sent word to the queen herself that he 
knew very well that death was the penalty for 
his offense, but that he was willing to sacrifice 
his life in any way in the service of her majesty. 
He was pardoned ! 

Nero, after much anxious deliberation, con 
sluded that the emergency in which he found 
himself placed was one requiring him to take 
the responsibility of disobedience. He did not, 
however, dare to go northward with all his for- 
ces, for that would be to leave southern Italy 
wholly at the mercy of Hannibal. He selected, 
therefore, from his whole force, which consisted 

224 Hannibal. jB.C.206 

Plan* of Nero. A nwht march. 

of forty thousand men, seven or eight thousand 
of the most efficient and trustworthy ; the men 
on whom he could most securely rely, bc-tt in 
respect to their ability to bear the fatigues of 
a Tapir march, and the courage and energy v* itfe 
which they would meet Hasdrubal's forces in 
battle at the end of it. He was, at the time 
when Hasdrubal's letters were intercepted, oc- 
cupying a spacious and well-situated camp. 
This he enlarged and strengthened, so that 
Hannibal might not suspect that he intended 
any diminution of the forces within. All this 
was done very promptly, so that, in a few hours 
after he received the intelligence on which ht 
was acting, he was drawing off secretly, a| 
night, a column of six or eight thousand men, 
none of whom knew at all where they were going. 

He proceeded as rapidly as possible to the 
northward, and, when he arrived in the north- 
ern province, he contrived to get into the camp 
of Livius as secretly as he had got out from Hi 
own. Thus, of the two armies, the one where 
an accession of force was required was gr^aily 
strengthened at the expense of the other, with- 
out either of the Carthaginian generals having 
suspected the change. 

Livius was rejoiced to set so onnortune a re* 

B.C. 206.] Scipio. 22L 

Liriu* and Nero attack EasdrubaL Hasdrubal orders a retreat 

enforcement. He recommended that the troops 
should all remain quietly in camp for a short 
turn, until the newly-arrived troops could rest 
and recruit themselves a little after their rapid 
and fatiguing march ; but Nero opposed this 
plan, and recommended an immediate battle. 
He knew the character of the men that he had 
brought, and he was, besides, unwilling to risk 
the dangers which might arise in his own camp, 
in southern Italy, by too long an absence from 
it. It was decided, accordingly, to attack Has- 
drubal at once, and the signal for battle was 

It is not improbable that Hasdrubal would 
have been beaten by Livius alone, but the ad- 
ditional force which Nero had brought made 
the Romans altogether too strong for him. Be- 
sides, from his position in the front of the bat- 
tle, he perceived, from some indications that his 
watchful eye observed, that a part of the troops 
attacking him were from the southward; and 
he inferred from this that Hannibal had been 
defeated, and that, in consequence of this, the 
whole united force of the Roman army was ar- 
rayed against him. He was disheartened and 
discouraged, and soon ordered a retreat. He 
was pursued by the various divisions of the Ro 

22ti Hannibal. [B.C. 206 

Butchery of Haac rubal'e army. llasdrubal's death 

man army, and the retreating columns of the 
Carthaginians were soon thrown into complete 
confusion. They became entangled among riv- 
ers and lakes ; and the guides who had under- 
taken to conduct the army, rinding that all was 
lost, abandoned them and fled, anxious only to 
6ave their own lives. The Carthaginians were 
boon pent up in a position where they could not 
defend themselves, and from which they could 
not escape. The Romans showed them no mer- 
cy, but went on killing their wretched and de- 
spairing victims until the whole army was ak 
most totally destroyed. They cut off Hasdru- 
bal's head, and Nero sat out the very night after 
the battle to return with it in triumph to his own 
encampment. When he arrived, he sent a troop 
3f horse to throw the head over into Hannibal's 
camp, a ghastly and horrid trophy of his victory 

Hannibal was overwhelmed with disappoint 
ment and sorrow at the loss of his army, bring 
ing with it, as it did, the destruction of all hi? 
hopes. " My fate is sealed," said he : " all is lost. 
I shall send no more news of victory to Car. 
thage. In losing Hasdrubal my last hope is gone." 

While Hannibal was in this condition in Ita« 
ry, the Roman armies, aided by their allies, were 
gaining gradually against the Carthaginians in 


lllllIliIllll!llilii:!i.i,,:ili 1 i:iL:,! 1 liiiilil 

B.C. 204] Scipio. 229 

Progress of the Roman arms. Successes cf Scipio 

various parts of the world, under the different 
generals who had been placed in command by 
the Roman senate. The news of these victories 
came continually home to Italy, and encouraged 
and animated the Romans, while Hannibal and 
his army, as well as the people who were in al 
liance with him, were disheartened and depress 
ed by them. Scipio was one of these general* 
commanding in foreign lands. His province wai 
Spain. The news which came home from his 
army became more and more exciting, as he 
advanced from conquest to conquest, until it 
seemed that the whole country was going to be 
reduced to subjection. He overcame one Car- 
thaginian general after another until he reached 
New Carthage, which he besieged and conquer- 
ed, and the Roman authority was established 
fully over the whole land. 

Scipio then returned in triumph to Rome 
The people received him with acclamations 
At the next election they chose him consul 
On the allotment of provinces, Sicily fell to him, 
with power to cross into Africa if he pleased 
It devolved on the other consul to carry on the 
war in Italy more directly against Hani ibal 
Scipio levied his army, equipped his fleet, and 
sailed for Sicily 

230 Hannibal. [B.C. 204 

8ciplo In Africa. Carthage threatened 

The first thing that he did on his arrival in 
hLs province was to project an expedition into 
Africa itself. He could not, as he wished, face 
Hannibal directly, by marching his troops into 
the south of Italy, for this was the work allotted 
iX) his colleague. He could, however, make an 
incursion into Africa, and even threaten Car- 
thage itself, and this, with the boldness and ardor 
which marked his character, he resolved to do. 

He was triumphantly successful in all his 
plans. His army, imbibing the spirit of enthu- 
siasm which animated then commander, and 
confident of success, went on, as his forces in 
Spain had done, from victorv to victory. They 
conquered cities, they overran provinces, they 
defeated and drove back all the armies which 
the Carthaginians could bring against them, 
and finally they awakened in the streets and 
dwellings of Carthage the same panic and con- 
sternation which Hannibal's victorious progress 
had produced in Rome. 

The Carthaginians being now, in thoir turn. 
I educed to despair, sent embassadors to Scipio 
to beg for peace, and to ask on what terms he 
would grant it and withdraw from the country 
Scipio replied that he could not make peace 
It rested with the Roman senate, whose servant 

B.C 204.] Scipio. 231 

& truce. Hannibal recalled 

he was. He specified, however, certain terms 
which he was willing to have proposed to the 
senate, and, if the Carthaginians would agree 
fcc them, he would grant them a truce, that is, 
t temporary suspension of hostilities, until the 
answer of the Roman senate could be returned. 

The Carthaginians agreed to the terms. They 
were very onerous. The Romans say that they 
did not really mean to abide by them, but ac- 
ceded for the moment in order to gain time to 
send for Hannibal. They had great confidence 
in his resources and military power, and thought 
that, if he were in Africa, he could save them. 
At the same time, therefore, that they sent their 
embassadors to Rome with their propositions for 
peace, they dispatched expresses to Hannibal, 
ordering him to embark his troops as soon as 
possible, and, abandoning Italy, to hasten home, 
to save, if it was not already too late, his native 
city from destruction. 

When Hannibal received these messages, he 
was overwhelmed with disappointment and sor- 
row. He spent hours in extreme agitation* 
sometimes in a moody silence, interrupted now 
and then by groans of despair, and sometimes 
uttering loud and angry curses, prompted b\ 
the exasperation of his feelings. He, however 

232 Hannibal. [B.C. 204 

Hannibal raises a new army. The Romans capture hifl spiei 

could not resist. He made the best of his way 
to Carthage. The Roman senate, at the same 
time instead of deciding on the question of 
peaoe or war, which Scipio had submitted tc 
them, referred the question back to him. They 
sent commissioners to Scipio, authorizing him 
to act for them, and to decide himself alone 
whether the war should be continued or closed, 
and if to be closed, on what conditions. 

Hannibal raised a large force at Carthage, 
joining with it such remains of former armies 
as had been left after Scipio's battles, and he 
went forth at the head of these troops to meet 
his enemy. He marched five days, going, per- 
haps, seventy-five or one hundred miles from 
Carthage, when he found himself approaching 
Scipio's camp. He sent out spies to reconnoi- 
ter. The patrols of Scipio's army seized these 
spies and brought them to the general's tent, 
as they supposed, for execution. Instead of 
punishing them, Scipio ordered them to be led 
around his camp, and to be allowed to see every 
thing they desired. He then dismissed them 
that they might return to Hannibal with the in- 
formation they had obtained. 

Of course, the report which they brought in 
respect to the strength and resources of Soipio'i 

B.C. 201.] Scipio. 233 

negotiations. Interview between Hanniba. and Scipio 

army was very formidable to Hannibal. He 
thought it best to make an attempt to negoti- 
ate a peace rather than to risk a battle, and he 
accordingly sent word to Scipio requesting a 
personal interview. Scipio acceded to this re- 
quest, and a place was appointed for the meet- 
ing between the two encampments. To this 
spot the two generals repaired at the proper 
time, with great pomp and parade, and with 
many attendants. They were the two greatest 
generals of the age in which they lived, having 
been engaged for fifteen or twenty years in per- 
forming, at the head of vast armies, exploits 
which had filled the world with their fame. 
Their fields of action had, however, been wide- 
ly distant, and they met personally now for the 
first time. When introduced into each other's 
presence, they stood for some time in silence, 
gazing upon and examining one another with 
intense interest and curiosity, but not speaking 
a word. 

At length, however, the negotiation was open- 
ed. Hannibal made Scipio proposals for peace. 
They were very favorable to the Romans, out 
Scipio was not satisfied with them. He de- 
manded still greater sacrifices than Hannibal 
was willing to make The rosult, after a long 

234 Hannibal. [B.C. 201. 

The last battle. Defeat of the Carthaginian* 

and fruitless negotiation, was, that each general 
returned to his camp and prepared for battle. 

In military campaigns, it is generally easy 
for those who have been conquering to go on to 
oonquer : so much depends upon the expectations 
with which the contending armies go into bat- 
tle. Scipio and his troops expected to conquer. 
The Carthaginians expected to be beaten. The 
result corresponded. At the close of the day 
on which the battle was fought, forty thousand 
Carthaginians were dead and dying upon the 
ground, as many more were prisoners in the Ro- 
man camp, and the rest, in broken masses, were 
flying from the field in confusion and terror, on 
all the roads which led to Carthage. Hannibal 
arrived at the city with the rest, went to the 
senate, announced his defeat, and said that he 
could do no more. " The fortune which once 
attended me," said he, "is lost forever, and 
nothing is left to us but to make peace with 
our enemies on any terms that they may mini 
fit tc impose v ' 

B.C.200.] Hannibal an Exile. 235 

Hannibal's conquests. Peaceful pursuit* 

Chapter XL 
Hannibal a Fugitive and an Exile. 

HANNIBAL'S life was like an April day. 
Its brightest glory was in the morning. 
The setting of his sun was darkened by clouds 
and showers. Although for fifteen years the 
Roman people could find no general capable of 
maintaining the field against him, Scipio con- 
quered him at last, and all his brilliant con- 
quests ended, as Hanno had predicted, only in 
placing his country in a far worse condition 
than before. 

In fact, as long as the Carthaginians confined 
their energies to useful industry, and to the pur- 
suits of commerce and peace, they were pros 
perous, and they increased in wealth, and in- 
fluence, and honor every year. Their ships 
went every where, and were every where wel- 
come. All the shores of the Mediterranean were 
visited by their merchants, and the comforts and 
the happiness of many nations and tribes were 
promoted by the very means which they took 
to swell their own rich 3S and fame. All might 

236 H a n x i b a l. [B.C. 200 

The danger of a spirit of ambition and conquest. 

have gone on so for centuries longer, had not 
military heroes arisen with appetites for a more 
piquant sort of glory. Hannibal's father was 
one of the foremost of these. He began by con- 
quests in Spain and encroachments on the Ro- 
man jurisdiction. He inculcated the same feel- 
ings of ambition and hate in Hannibal's mind 
which burned in his own. For many years, the 
policy which they led their countrymen to pur- 
sue was successful. From being useful and 
welcome visitors to all the world, they became 
the masters and the curse of a part of it. So 
long as Hannibal remained superior to any Ro- 
man general that could be brought against him, 
he went on conquering. But at last Scipio 
arose, a greater than Hannibal. The tide was 
then turned, and all the vast conquests of half 
a century were wrested away by the same vio- 
lence, bloodshed, and misery with which they 
had been acquired. 

We have described the exploits of Hannibal, 
in making these conquests, in detafl, while those 
of Scipio, in wresting them away, have been 
passed over very briefly, as this is intended as 
a history of Hannibal, and not of Scipio. Still 
Scipio's conquests were made by slow degrees, 
and they consumed a long period of time. He 

B.C. 200.] Hannibal an Exilb. 237 

Gradual progress of Scipio'a rictories. 

was but about eighteen years of age at the bat- 
tle of Cannse, soon after which his campaigns 
began, and he was thirty when he was made 
consul, just before his going into Africa. He 
was thus fifteen or eighteen years in taking 
down the vast superstructure of power which 
Hannibal had raised, working in regions away 
from Hannibal and Carthage during all this 
time, as if leaving the great general and the 
great city for the last. He was, however, so 
successful in what he did, that when, at length, 
he advanced to the attack of Carthage, every 
thing else was gone. The Carthaginian powei 
had become a mere hollow shell, empty and 
\ain, which required only one great final blow 
to effect its absolute demolition. In fact, so far 
spent and gone were all the Carthaginian re- 
sources, that the great city had to summon the 
great general to its aid the moment it was 
threatened, and Scipio destroyed them both to* 

And yet Scipio did not proceed so far as lit- 
erally and actually to destroy them. He spared 
Hannibal's life, and he allowed the city to stand ; 
but the terms and conditions of peace which he 
exaoted were such as to put an absolute ana 
perpetual end to Carthaginian dominion. By 

238 Hannibal rB.C.200 

Severe conditions of peace exacted by Scipio. 

these conditions, the Carthaginian state was al- 
owed to continue free and independent, and 
3ven to retain the government of such territo 
lies in Africa as they possessed before the war ; 
but all their foreign possessions were taken 
away; and even in respect to Africa, their ju 
risdiction was limited and curtailed by very hard 
restrictions. Their whole navy was to be given 
to the Romans except ten small ships of three 
banks of oars, which Scipio thought the govern- 
ment would need for the purposes of civil ad- 
ministration. These they were allowed to re- 
tain. Scipio did not say what he should do with 
the remainder of the fleet : it was to be uncon- 
ditionally surrendered to him. Their elephants 
of war were also to be all given up, and they 
were to be bound not to train any more. They 
were not to appear at all as a military power 
in any other quarter of the world but Africa, 
and they were not to make war in Africa ex- 
cept by previously making known the occasion 
for it to the Roman people, and obtaining their 
permission. They were also to pay to the Ro- 
mans a very large annual tribute for fifty years 
There was great distress and perplexity in 
the Carthaginian councils while they were de- 
bating these cruel terms. Hannibal was in fa 

B.C 200.] Hannibal an Exile. 239 

Debates in the Carthaginian senate. 

vot of accepting them. Others opposed. They 
thought it would be better still to continue the 
stiuggle, hopeless as it was, than to submit to 
terms so ignominious and fatal. 

Hannibal was present at these debates, but 
he found himself now in a very different posi- 
tion from that which he had been occupying for 
thirty years as a victorious general at the head 
of his army. He had been accustomed there to 
control and direct every thing. In his councils 
of war, no one spoke but at his invitation, and 
no opinion was expressed but such as he was 
willing to hear. In the Carthaginian senate, 
however, he found the case very different 
There, opinions were freely expressed, as in a 
debate among equals, Hannibal taking his place 
among the rest, and counting only as one. And 
yet the spirit of authority and command which 
he had been so long accustomed to exercise, lin- 
gered still, and made him very impatient and 
uneasy under contradiction. In fact, as one of 
the speakers in the senate was rising to an:mad-A 
roit upon and oppose Hannibal's views, he un- 
dertook to pull him down and silence him by 
force This proceeding awakened immediately 
such expressions of dissatisfaction and displeas- 
ure in the assembly as to show him very clearly 

240 Hannibal. [B.C. 200 

Terms of peace complied with. Surrender of the elephants and shipa 

that the time for such domineering was gone 
He had, however, the good sense to express the 
regret he soon felt at having so far forgotten the 
duties of his new position, and to make an am- 
ple apology. 

The Carthaginians decided at length to ac- 
cede to Scipio's terms of peace. The first in- 
stalment of the tribute was paid. The elephants 
and the ships were surrendered. After a few 
days, Scipio announced his determination not to 
take the ships away with him, but to destroy 
them there. Perhaps this was because he 
thought the ships would be of little value to the 
Romans, on account of the difficulty of manning 
them. Ships, of course, are useless without sea- 
men, and many nations in modern times, who 
could easily build a navy, are debarred from 
doing it, because their population does not fur- 
nish sailors in sufficient numbers to man and 
navigate it. It was probably, in part, on this 
account that Soipio decided not to take the Car 
thaginian ships away, and perhaps he also want- 
ed to show to Carthage and to the world that hi* 
object in taking possession of the national prop. 
erty of his foes was not to enrich his own coun- 
try by plunder, but only to deprive ambitious 
soldiers of the power to compromise any longei 



B.C.200.J Hannibal an Exile 243 

Scipio burns the Carthaginian fleet Feelings of the spectator* 

the peace and happiness of mankind by expe- 
ditions for conquest and power. However this 
may be, Scipio determined to destroy the Car- 
thaginian fleet, and not to convey it away. 

On a given day, therefore, he ordered all the 
galleys to be got together in the bay opposite 
to the city of Carthage, and to be burned. 
There were five hundred of them, so that they 
constituted a large fleet, and covered a large ex- 
panse of the water. A vast concourse of peo- 
ple assembled upon the shores to witness the 
grand conflagration. The emotion which such 
a spectacle was of itself calculated to excite 
was greatly heightened by the deep but stifled 
feelings of resentment and hate which agitated 
every Carthaginian breast. The Romans, too, 
as they gazed upon the scene from their en- 
campment on the shore, were agitated as well, 
though with different emotions. Their face? 
beamed with an expression of exultation and 
triumph as they saw the vast masses of flam' 
and columns of smoke ascending from the sea, 
proclaiming the total and irretrievable ruin of 
Carthaginian pride and power. 

Having thus fully accomplished his work, 
Scipio set sail for Rome. All Italy had been 
oiled with the fame of his exploits in thus de- 

244 Hannibal. [B.C 21XJ 

Scipio sails to Rome. His reception 

stroying the ascendency of Hannibal. The city 
of Rome had now nothing more to fear from its 
great enemy. He was shut up, disarmed, and 
helpless, in his own native state, and the terroi 
whioh his presence in Italy had inspired had 
passed forever away. The whole population of 
Rome, remembering the awful scenes of con« 
sternation and terror which the city had so of- 
ten endured, regarded Scipio as a great deliverer 
They were eager to receive and welcome him 
on his arrival. When the time came and he 
approached the city, vast throngs went out tu 
meet him. The authorities formed civic pro- 
cessions to welcome him. They brought crowns, 
and garlands, and flowers, and hailed his ap- 
proach with loud and prolonged acclamations of 
triumph and joy. They gave hirn the name of 
Africanus, in honor of his victories. This was 
a new honor — giving to a conqueror the name of 
the country that he had subdued ; it was in- 
vented specially as Scipio's reward, the deliv- 
erer who had saved the empire from the great- 
est and most terrible danger by which it haJ 
ever been assailed. 

Hannibal, though fallen, retained still in Car- 
thage some portion of his former power. The 
glory of his past exploits still invested his char 

B.C. 192.J H.VNNIBAL AN ExiLE. 243 

Hannibal's position and standing at Carthage. 

acter with a sort of halo, which made him an 
object of general regard, and he still had great 
an I powerful friends. He was elevated to high 
office, and exerted himself to regulate and im- 
prove the interna] affairs of the state. In these 
efforts he was not, however, very successful. 
The historians say that the objects which he 
aimed to accomplish were good, and that the 
measures for effecting them were, in themselves, 
judicious ; but, accustomed as he was to the 
authoritative and arbitrary action of a military 
commander in camp, he found it hard to prac- 
tice that caution and forbearance, and that 
deference for the opinion of others, which are 
so essential as means of influencing men in the 
management of the civil affairs of a common- 
wealth. He madu a great many enemies, who 
did every thing in their power, by plots and in- 
trigues, as well as by open hostility, to accom- 
plish his ruin. 

His pride, too, was extremely mortified and 
humbled by an occurrence which took place 
very soon after Scipio's return to Rome. There 
v*as some occasion of war with a neighboring 
Airican tribe, and Hannibal headed some forces 
which were raised in the city for the purpose, 
and went rat to prosecute it. The Romans 

246 Hannibal [B.C. 192 

Orders from Homo. Hannibal's luortiflcatiuB 

who took care to have agents in Carthage tc 
keep them acquainted with all that occurred, 
heard of this, and sent word to Carthage to 
warn the Carthaginians that this was contrary 
to the treaty, and cou d not be allowed. The 
government, not willing to incur the risk of 
another visit from Scipio, sent orders to Han- 
nibal to abandon the war and return to the city. 
Hannibal was compelled to submit; but after 
having been accustomed, as he had been, for 
many years, to bid defiance to all the armies 
an 1 fleets which Roman power could, with their 
utmost exertion, bring against him, it must 
have been very hard for such a spirit as his to 
find itself stopped and conquered now by a word. 
AM the force they could command against him, 
even at the very gates of their own city, was 
4>nce impotent and vain. Now, a mere message 
and threat, coming across the distant sea, seeks 
him out in the remote deserts of Africa, and in 
a moment deprives him of all his power. 

Years passed away, and Hannibal, though 
compelled outwardly to submit to his fate, was 
restless and ill at ease. His scheming spirit, 
spurred on now by the double stimulus of re- 
sentment and ambition, was always busy, vainly 
endeavoring to discover some plan by which he 

B.C. 192.] Hannibal an .rixiLE. 247 

Syria and Phoenicia. King Antiochn* 

might again renew the struggle with his ancient 

It will be recollected that Carthage was orig- 
inally a commercial colony from Tyre, a city 
on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. 
The countries of Syria and Phoenicia were in 
the vicinity of Tyre. They were powerful com- 
mercial communities, and they had always re- 
tained very friendly relations with the Cartha- 
ginian commonwealth. Ships passed continu- 
ally to and fro, and always, in case of calami- 
ties or disasters threatening one of these regions, 
the inhabitants naturally looked to the other 
for refuge and protection, Carthage looking 
upon Phoenicia as its mother, and Phoenicia re- 
garding Carthage as her child. Now there was, 
at this time, a very powerful monarch on the 
throne in Syria and Phoenicia, named Antiochus 
His capital was Damascus. He was wealthy 
and powerful, and was involved in some diffi- 
culties with the Romans. Their conquests, 
gradually extending eastward, had approached 
the confines of Antiochus's realms, and the twc 
nations were on the brink of war. 

Things being in this state, the enemies of 
Hannibal at Carthage sent information to thf 
Roman senate that he was negotiating and plot- 

248 Hannibal. [B.C 192 

Hanniba-'s intrigues with AttiochuB. Embassy from Roma 

ting with Antiochus to combine the Syrian and 
Carthaginian forces against them, and thus 
plunge the world into another general war. 
The Romans accordingly determined to send an 
ambassage to the Carthaginian government, and 
to demand that Hannibal should be deposed 
from his office, and given up to them a prisoner, 
in order that he might be tried on this charge. 

These commissioners came, accordingly, to 
Carthage, keeping, however, the object of theii 
mission a profound secret, since they knew very 
well that, if Hannibal should suspect it, he 
would make his escape before the Carthaginian 
senate could decide upon the question of sur- 
rendering him. Hannibal was, however, too 
wary for them. He contrived to learn their 
object, and immediately resolved on making his 
escape. He knew that his enemies in Carthage 
were numerous and powerful, and that the ani- 
mosity against him was growing stronger and 
stronger. He did not dare, therefore, to trust 
to the result of the discussion in the senate, but 
determined to fly. 

He had a small castle or tcwer on the coast, 
about one hundred and fifty miles southeast of 
Carthage. He sent there by an express, order- 
inor q vpisspI to ho Tf»adv to taVp him to sea. H* 

B.C 192.] Hannibal an Exile. 249 

Flight of nannibal. Island of Cercina 

also made arrangements to have horsemen ready 
at one of the gates of the city at nightfall. 
During the day he appeared freely in the public 
streets, walking with an unconcerned air, as if 
his mind was at ease, and giving to the Roman 
embassadors, who were watching his move- 
ments, the impression that he was not medi- 
tating an escape. Toward the close of the day, 
nowever, after walking leisurely home, he im- 
mediately made preparations for his journey. 
As soon as it was dark he went to the gate of 
the city, mounted the horse which was provided 
for him, and fled across the country to his cas- 
tle. Here he found the vessel ready which he 
had ordered. He embarked, and put to sea 

There is a small island called Cercina at a 
little distance from the coast. Hannibal reach- 
ed this island on the same day that he left his 
tower. There was a harbor here, where mer- 
chant ships were accustomed to come in. He 
found several Phoenician vessels in the port, 
some bound to Carthage Hannibal's arrival 
produced a strong sensation here, and, to ao 
count for his appearance among them, he said 
he was going on an embassy from the Cartha- 
ginian government to Tyre. 

He was now afraid that some of these vessels 

250 Hannibal. [B.C. 192 

Stratagem of Hannibal. He sails for Syria 

that were about setting sail for Carthage might 
carry the news back of his having being seen at 
Cercina, and, to prevent this, he contrived, wi th 
his characteristic cunning, the following plan 
He sent around to all the ship-masters in the 
port, inviting them to a great entertainment 
which he was to give, and asked, at the same 
time, that they would lend him the main-sails 
of their ships, to make a great awning with, to 
shelter the guests from the dews of the night 
The ship-masters, eager to witness and enjoy 
the convivial scene which Hannibal's proposal 
promised them, accepted the invitation, and or- 
dered their main-sails to be taken down. Of 
course, this confined all their vessels to port. In 
the evening, the company assembled under the 
vast tent, made by the main-sails, on the shore. 
Hannibal met them, and remained with them 
for a time. In the course of the night, how- 
ever; when they were all in the midst of their 
carousing, he stole away, embarked on board a 
ship, and set sail, and, before the ship-masters 
could awake from the deep and prolonged slum 
hers which followed their wine, and rig then 
main-sails to the masts again, Hannibal was far 
out of reach on his way to Syria. 

In the mean time, there was a gieat excite 

B.C. 192.] Hannibal an Exile. 25] 

Excitement at Carthage. Hannibal safe at £phesu» 

ment produced at Carthage by the news which 
spread every where over the city, the day aftei 
his departure, that he was not to be found 
Great crowds assembled before his house. Wild 
and strange rumors circulated in explanation 
af his disappearance, but they were contradic- 
tory and impossible, and only added to the uni- 
versal excitement. This excitement continued 
until the vessels at last arrived from Cercina, 
and made the truth known. Hannibal was 
himself, however, by this time, safe beyond the 
reach of all possible pursuit. He was sailing 
prosperously, so far as outward circumstances 
were concerned, but dejected and wretched in 
heart, toward Tyre. He landed there in safe- 
ty, and was kindly received. In a few days he 
went into the interior, and, after various wan- 
derings, reached Ephesus, where he found Anti- 
ochus, the Syrian king. 

As soon as the escape of Hannibal was made 
known at Carthage, the people of the city im- 
mediately began to fear that the Romans would 
consider them responsible for it, and that they 
should thus incur a renewal of Roman hostility. 
In order to avert this danger, they immediately 
sent a deputation to Rome, to make known the 
fact of Hannibal's flight, and tc express the r© 

252 Hannibal I B.C. 192. 

Carthaginian deputies. The change of fortune, 

gret they felt on account of it, in hopes thus to 
save themselves 1 om the displeasure of thcii 
forn idable foes. It may at first view seem very 
ungenerous and ungrateful in the Carthaginians 
to abandon their general in this manner, in the 
hour of his misfortune and calamity, and to take 
part against him with enemies whose displeas- 
ure he had incurred only in their service and 
in executing their will. And this conduct of 
the Carthaginians would have to be considered 
as not only ungenerous, but extremely incon- 
sistent, if it had been the same individuals that 
acted in the two cases. But it was not. The 
men and the influences which now opposed 
Hannibal's projects and plans had opposed them 
always and from the beginning ; only, so long as 
he went on successfully and well, they were in 
the minority, and Hannibal's adherents and 
friends controlled all the public action of the 
city. But, now that the bitter fruits of his am* 
hition and of his totally unjustifiable encroach- 
ments on the Roman territories and Roman 
rights began to be realized, the party of his 
friends was overturned, the power reverted to 
the hands of those who had always opposed him, 
and in trying to keep him down when he was 
once fallen, tl eir action, whether politically 

B.C. 192.J Hannibal an Exile. 25^ 

Hannibal's unconquerable spirit. His new plana 

right or wrong, was consistent with itself, and 
oan not be considered as at all subjecting them 
to the charge of ingratitude or treachery. 

One might have supposed that all HannibaPa 
hopes and expectations of ever again coping with 
his great Roman enemy would have been now 
effectually and finally destroyed, and that hence 
forth he would have given up his active hostility 
and would have contented himself with seeking 
some refuge where he could spend the remain 
der of his days in peace, satisfied with securing, 
after such dangers and escapes, his own person* 
al protection from the vengeance of his enemies 
But it is hard to quell and subdue such indomit 
able perseverance and energy as his. He was 
very little inclined yet to submit to his fate 
As soon as he found himself at the court of An- 
tiochus, he began to form new plans for making 
war against Rome. He proposed to the Syrian 
monarch to raise a naval force and put it under 
his charge. He said that if Antiochus would 
give him a hundred ships and ten or twelve 
thousand men, he would take the command of 
the expedition in person, and he did not d*™^ 
that he should be able to recover his lost ground, 
and once mere humble his ancient and formida- 
ble enemy. He would go first, he said, with 

'25\ Hannibal. [B.C. lyo 

Hannibal sends a secret messenger to Carthage. 

nis force to Carthage, to get the co-operation 
*nd aid of his countrymen there in his new 
plans. Then he would make a descent upon 
Italy, and he had no doubt that he should soon 
regain the ascendency there which he had for- 
merly held. 

Hannibal's design of going first to Carthage 
with his Syrian army was doubtless induced 
oy his desire to put down the party of his ene- 
mies there, and to restore the power to his ad- 
herents and partisans. In order to prepare the 
way the more effectually for this, he sent a se- 
cret messenger to Carthage, while his negotia- 
tions with Antiochus were going on, to make 
known to his friends there the new hopes which 
he began to cherish, and the new designs which 
he had formed. He knew that his enemies in 
Carthage would be watching very carefully for 
any such communication ; he therefore wrof 3 no 
letters, and committed nothing to paper which, 
on being discovered, might betray him. He ex- 
plained, however, all his plans very fully to his 
messenger, and gave him minute and careful 
Instructions as to his manner of eommunicating 

The Carthaginian authorities were indeed 
matching very vigilantly, and intelligence was 

J3.C 190.J Hannibal an Exile. 2^ 

The Placards Excitement produced by them 

brought to taem, by their spies, of the arrival 
of this stranger. They immediately took meas- 
ures for arresting him. The messenger, who 
was himself as vigilant as they, got intelligence 
of this in his secret lurking-place in the city, 
and determined immediately to fly. He, how- 
ever, first prepared some papers and placards, 
which he posted up in public places, in which 
he proclaimed that Hannibal was far from con- 
sidering himself finally conquered ; that he was, 
on the contrary, forming new plans for putting 
down his enemies in Carthage, resuming his 
former ascendency there, and carrying fire and 
sword again into the Roman territories ; and, in 
the mean time, he urged the friends of Hanni- 
bal in Carthage to remain faithful and true to 
his cause 

The messenger, after posting his placards, 
fled from the city in the night, and went back 
to Hannibal. Of course, the occurrence pro- 
duced considerable excitement in the city. It 
aroused the anger and resentment of Hannibal's 
enemies, and awakened new encouragement and 
hope in the hearts of his friends. Further than 
this, however, it led to no immediate results. 
The power of the party which was opposed to 
Hann:bal was too firmly established at Carthage 

256 Hannibal. [B.C. ]<J0 

Roman commissioners. Supposed interview of Hannibal and Scipio 

to be very easily shaken. They sent informa- 
tion to Rome of the coming of Hannibal's emis- 
sary to Carthage, and of the result of his mis- 
sion, and then every thing went on as befora 

In the mean time, the Romans, when they 
learned where Hannibal had gone, sent two or 
three commissioners there to confer with the 
Syrian government in respect to their intentions 
and plans, and watch the movements of Hanni- 
bal. It was said that Scipio himself was joined 
to this embassy, and that he actually met Han- 
nibal at Ephesus, and had several personal in- 
terviews and conversations with him there. 
Some ancient historian gives a particular ac- 
count of one of these interviews, in which the 
conversation turned, as it naturally would do 
between two such distinguished commanders, 
on military greatness and glory. Scipio asked 
Hannibal whom he considered the greatest mil- 
itary hero that had ever lived. Hannibal gave 
the palm to Alexander the Great, because he 
had penetrated, with comparatively a very small 
number of Macedonian troops, into such re 
mote regions, conquered such vast armies, and 
brought so boundless an empire under his sway 
Scipio then asked him who he was inclined to 
place next to Alexander. He said Pyrrhu* 

B.C. 190.] Hannibal an Exile. 257 

Hannibal's opinion of Alexander and Pyrrhus. Anecdote* 

Pyrrhus was a Grecian, who crossed the Adri- 
atic Sea, and made war, with great success, 
igainst the Romans. Hannibal said that he 
gave the second rank to Pyrrhus because he 
systematized and perfected the art of war, and 
iso because he had the power of awakening 
i feeling of personal attachment to himself on 
the part of all his soldiers, and even of the in- 
aabitants of the countries that he conquered, 
beyond any other general that ever lived. Scip- 
[o then asked Hannibal who came next in or- 
Jer, and he replied that he should give the third 
rank to himself. " And if," added he, " I had 
conquered Scipio, I should consider myself as 
standing above Alexander, Pyrrhus, and all the 
generals that the world ever produced." 

Various other anecdotes are related of Han- 
nibal during the time of his first appearance in 
Syria, all indicating the very high degree of 
estimation in which he was held, and the curi- 
osity and interest that were every where felt to 
see him. On one occasion, it happened that a 
vain and self-conceited orator, who knew. little 
of war but from his own theoretic speculations, 
was haranguing an assembly where Hannibal 
was present, being greatly pleased with the op- 
p* "tunity of displaying his powers before so dis- 

2£>b Hannibal. [B.C. 190 

Hannibal's effort* prove vain. Antiochus agrees to give him up 

tinguished an auditor. When the disccurse 
was finished, they asked Hannibal what he 
thought of it. " I have heard," said he, in reply, 
u many old dotards in the course of my life, but 
this is, verily, the greatest dotard of them all." 

Hannibal failed, notwithstanding all his per- 
severance, in obtaining the means to attack the 
Romans again. He was unwearied in his ef- 
forts, but, though the king sometimes encour- 
aged his hopes, nothing was ever done. He re- 
mained in this part of the world for ten years, 
striving continually to accomplish his aims, but 
every year he found himself further from the 
attainment of them than ever. The hour of 
'lis good fortune and of his prosperity were ob- 
viously gone. His plans all failed, his influence 
leclined, his name and renown were fast pass- 
ing away. At last, after long and fruitless 
contests with the Romans, Antiochus made a 
treaty of peace with them, and, among the art- 
icles of this treaty, was one agreeing to give up 
Hannibal into their power 

Hannibal resolved to fly. The place of refuge 
which he chose was the island of Crete. He 
found that he could not long remain here. He 
had, however, brought with him a large amount 
of treasure, anc 1 when about leaving Crete again, 

B.C 190.J Hannibal an Exile. 2S'J 

Hannibal's treasures. His plan for securing them. 

he was uneasy about this treasure, as he had 
some reason to fear that the Cretans were in- 
tending to seize it He must contrive, then, 
some stratagem to enable him to get this gold 
a way. The plan he adopted was this : 

He filled a number of earthen jars with lead, 
covering the tops of them with gold and silver 
These he carried, with great appearance of cau 
tion and solicitude, to the Temple of Diana, a 
very sacred edifice, and deposited them there, 
under very special guardianship of the Cretans, 
to whom, as he said, he intrusted all his treas- 
ures. They received their false deposit with 
many promises to keep it safely, and then Han- 
nibal went away with his real gold cast in the 
center of hollow statues of brass, which he car- 
ried with him, without suspicion, as objects of 
art of very little value. 

Hannibal fled from kingdom to kingdom, and 
from province to province, until life became a 
miserable burden. The determined hostility of 
the Roman senate followed him every where 
harassing him with continual anxiety and fear, 
and destroying all hope of comfort and peace 
His mind was a prey to bitter recollections of 
the past, and still more dreadful forebodings fui 
the future. He had spent all the morning of 

260 Hannibal [B.C. 182 

HaunibaTs unhappy condition. The potion of poison. 

his life in inflicting the most terrible injuries on 
the objects of his implacable animosity and hate, 
although they had never injured him, and now, 
in the evening of his days, it became his des- 
tiny to feel the pressure of the same terror and 
suffering inflicted upon him. The hostility 
which he had to fear was equally merciless with 
that which he had exercised ; perhaps it was 
made still more intense by being mingled with 
what they who felt it probably considered a just 
resentment and revenge. 

When at length Hannibal found that the Ro- 
mans were hemming him in more and more 
closely, and that the danger increased of his fall- 
ing at last into their power, he had a potion of 
poison prepared, and kept it always in readiness, 
determined to die by his own hand rather than 
to submit to be given up to his enemies. The 
time for taking the poison at last arrived. The 
wretched fugitive was then in Bithynia, a king, 
dom of Asia Minor. The King of Bithynia 
sheltered him for a time, but at length agreed 
t; give him up to the Romans. Hannibal 
learning this, prepared for flight. But he found, 
on attempting his escape, that all the modes oi 
exit from the palace which he occupied, even 
the secret ones which he had expressly contriv- 

B.C. 182.] Hannibal an Exihs. 261 

Hannibal fails in his attempt to escape. He poisons himself 

ed to aid his flight, were taken possession of and 
guarded. Escape was, therefore, no longer pos- 
sible, and Hannibal went to his apartment and 
sent for the poison. He was now an old man, 
nearly seventy years of age, and he was worn 
down and exhausted by his protracted anxieties 
and sufferings. He was glad to die. He drank 
the poison, and in a few hours ceased to breathe 

262 Carthage Destroyed. [B.C. 146 

Destruction The third Punic war 

Chapter XII. 
The Destruction of Carthage. 

THE consequences of Hannibal's reckless 
ambition, and of bis wholly unjustifiable 
aggression on Roman rights to gratify it, did 
not end with his own personal ruin. The flame 
which he had kindled continued to burn until 
at last it accomplished the entire and irretriev- 
able destruction of Carthage. This was effect- 
ed in a third and final war between the Cartha- 
ginians and the Romans, which is known in 
history as the third Punic war. With a narra- 
tive of the events of this war, ending, as it did, 
in the total destruction of the city, we shall 
close this history of Hannibal. 

It will be recollected that the war which 
Hannibal himself waged against Rome was the 
second in the series, the contest in which Reg- 
ulus figured so prominently having been the 
first. The one whose history is now to be given 
is the third. The reader will distinctly under- 
stand the chronological relations of these con- 
tests by the following table: 

B.C. 148.] Carthage Destroyed. 26h 

Chronological table of the Punic wan. 







War commenced in Sicily . . . 
Naval battles in the Mediterranean 
Regulus sent prisoner to Rome 
Peace concluded 

Peace for 24 year*. 

Hannibal attacks Saguntum . . 

Crosses the Alps 

Battle of Cannte ... 
Is conquered by Scipio 
Peace concluded 

Peace for 52 years. 

War declared 
Carthage destroyed 

Punic Win. 

:.: I 

24 yearn 


17 year*. 


4 years. 

These three Punic wars extended, as the ta- 
ble shows, over a period of more than a hund 

264 Hannibal. [B.C. 148 

Character of the Punic wars. Interval* between then 

red years. Each successive contest in the se* 
ries was shorter, but more violent and desper- 
ate than its predecessor, while the intervals of 
peace were longer. Thus the first Punic wai 
continued for twenty-four years, the second 
about seventeen, and the third only three 01 
four. The interval, too, between the first and 
second was twenty-four years, while between 
the second and third there was a sort of peacn 
for about fifty years. These differences were 
caused, indeed, in some degree, by the accident- 
al circumstances on which the successive rup- 
tures depended, but they were not entirely ow- 
ing to that cause. The longer these belligerent 
relations between the two countries continued, 
and the more they both experienced the awful 
effects and consequences of their quarrels, the 
less disposed they were to renew such dreadful 
struggles, and yet, when they did renew them 
they engaged ir them with redoubled energy 
of determination and fresh intensity of hate 
Thus the wars followed each other at greatei 
intervals, but the conflicts, when they camej 
though shorter in duration, were more and more 
desperate and merciless in character. 

We have said that, after the close of the second 
Punic war, there was a sort of peace for aboul 

B.C. 148] Carthage Destroyed. 265 

Animosities and dissension*. Numlrtu 

fifty years. Of course, during this time, one gen- 
eration after another of public men arose, both 
in Rome and Carthage, each successive group, 
on both sides, inheriting the suppressed animos- 
ity and hatred which had been cherished by their 
predecessors. Of course, as long as Hannibal 
had lived, and had continued his plots and 
schemes in Syria, he was the means of keeping 
up a continual irritation among the people of 
Rome against the Carthaginian name. It is 
true that the government at Carthage disavowed 
his acts, and professed to be wholly opposed to 
his designs ; but then it was, of course, very 
well known at Rome that this was only because 
they thought he was not able to execute them. 
They had no confidence whatever in Carthagin- 
ian faith or honesty, and, of course, there could 
be no real harmony or stable peace. 

There arose gradually, also, another source 
of dissension. By referring to the map. the read- 
er will perceive that there lies, to the westward 
of Carthage, a country called Numidia. This 
country was a hundred miles or more in breadth, 
and extended back several hundred miles into 
the interior. It was a very rich and fertile* re- 
gion, and contained many powerful and wealthy 
cities. The inhabitants were warlike, too, and 

266 Hannibal. [B.C. 149 

Nnroidian horsemen. MasinltM 

were particularly celebrated for their cavalry. 
The ancient historians say that they used to 
ride their horses into the field without saddles, 
and often without bridles, guiding and controll- 
ing them by their voices, and keeping their 
seats securely by the exercise of great personal 
strength and consummate skill. These Ni* 
midian horsemen are often alluded to in thd 
narratives of Hannibal's campaigns, and, in fact, 
in all the military histories of the times. 

Among the kings who reigned in Numidia 
was one who had taken sides with the Romans 
ji the second Punio war. His name was Mas- 
jiissa. He became involved in some struggle 
for power with a neighboring monarch named 
Syphax, and while he, that is, Masinissa, had al- 
lied himself to the Romans, Syphax had joined 
the Carthaginians, each chieftain hoping, by 
this means, to gain assistance from his allies 
in conquering the other. Masinissa's patrons 
proved to be the strongest, and at the end of the 
second Punic war, when the conditions of peace 
were made, Masinissa's dominions wore en^ 
larged; and the undisturbed possession cf them 
confirmed to him, the Carthaginians being bound 
by express stipulations not to molest him in any 

B.C. 148.] Carthage Destroyed. 267 

1 artie* at Rome and Carthage. Their difference* 

In commonwealths like those of Rome and 
Carthage, there will always be two great par- 
ties struggling against each other for the pos- 
session of power. Each wishes to avail itself 
of every opportunity to oppose and thwart the 
other, and they consequently almost always take 
different sides in all the great questions of pub- 
lic policy that arise. There were two such par- 
ties at Rome, and they disagreed in respect to 
the course which should be pursued in regard 
to Carthage, one being generally in favor of 
peace, the other perpetually calling for war. 
In the same manner there was at Carthage a 
similar dissension, the one side in the contest 
Deing desirous to propitiate the Romans and 
avoid collisions with them, while the other par- 
ty were very restless and uneasy under the 
pressure of the Roman power upon them, and 
were endeavoring continually to foment feelings 
of hostility against their ancient enemies, as if 
they wished that war should break out again. 
The latter party were not strong enough to 
bring the Carthaginian state into an open rap- 
ture with Rome itself, but they succeeded at 
last in getting their government involved in a 
dispute with Masinissa, and in leading out an 
army to give him battle. 

268 Hannibal. [B.C. 148 

Masinissa prepares for war. Hasdrubal 

Fifty years had passed away, as has already 
been remarked, since the close of Hannibal's 
war. During this time, Scipio — that is, the 
Scipio who conquered Hannibal — had disappear- 
ed from the stage. Masinissa himself Was very 
far advanced in life, being over eighty years of 
age. He, however, still retained the strength 
and energy which had characterized him in his 
prime. He drew together an immense army, 
and mounting, like his soldiers, bare-back upon 
his horse, he rode from rank to rank, gave the 
necessary commands, and matured the arrange- 
ments for battle. 

The name of the Carthaginian general on 
this occasion was Hasdrubal. This was a very 
common name at Carthage, especially among 
the friends and family of Hannibal. The bear- 
er of it, in this case, may possibly have receiv- 
ed it from his parents in commemoration of the 
brother of Hannibal, who lost his head in de- 
scending into Italy from the A"ips, inasmuch as 
during the fifty years of peace which had elaps- 
ed, there was ample time for a child born afte* 
that event to grow up to full maturity. At any 
rate, the new Hasdrubal inherited the inveter. 
ate hatred to Rome which characterized his 
namesake, and he and his party had contrived 

B.C. 148.] Carthage Destroyed. 209 

Carthage declares war. Parallel between Hannibal and Hasdrubal 

to gain a temporary ascendency in Carthage, 
and they availed themselves of their brief pos- 
session of power to renew, indirectly at least, 
the contest with Rome. They sent the rival 
laaders into banishment, raised an army, and 
[Jasdrubal himself taking the command of it, 
they went forth in great force to encounter 

It was in a way very similar to this that 
Hannibal had commenced his war with Rome, 
by seeking first a quarrel with a Roman ally. 
Hannibal, it is true, had commenced his ag- 
gressions at Saguntum, in Spain. Hasdrubal 
begins in Numidia, in Africa, but, with the ex- 
ception of the difference of geographical locality, 
all seems the same, and Hasdrubal very proba- 
bly supposed that he was about to enter him- 
self upon the same glorious career which had 
immortalized his great ancestor's name. 

There was another analogy between the two 
cases, viz., that both Hannibal and Hasdrubal 
had strong parties opposed to them in Carthage 
in the incipient stages of their undertakings. 
In the present instance, the opposition had been 
violently suppressed, and the leaders of it sent 
into banishment ; but still the elemp^ts remain- 
ed, ready, in case of any disaster to Hasdru 

270 Hannibal. [B.C. 148 

Vttle with Masinissa. Defeat of the Carthaginian* 

arms, or any other occurrence tending to dimin- 
ish his power, to rise at once and put him down. 
Hasdrubal had therefore a double enemy to con- 
tend against: one before him, on the battle- 
field, and the other, perhaps still more formida- 
ble, in the city behind him. 

The parallel, however, ends here. Hannibal 
oanquered at Saguntum, but Hasdrubal was 
entirely defeated in the battle in Numidia. The 
battle was fought long and desperately on both 
sides, but the Carthaginians were obliged to 
yield, and they retreated at length in confusion 
to seek shelter in their camp. The battle was 
witnessed by a Roman officer who stood upon 
a neighboring hill, and looked down upon the 
scene with intense interest all the day. It was 
Scipio — the younger Scipio — who became after- 
ward the principal actor in the terrible scenes 
which were enacted in the war which followed 
He was then a distinguished officer in the Ro- 
man army, and was on duty in Spain. His 
commanding general there had sent him to Af- 
rica to procure some elephants from Masinissa 
for the use of the army. He came to Numidia, 
accordingly, for this purpose, and as the battle 
between Masinissa anrt Hasdrubal came on 
while he was there, he remained to witness it 

B.C. 148.] Carthage Destroyed. 271 

rhe younger Scipio. A spectator of the battle 

This second Scipio was not, by blood, any 
relative of the other, but he had been adopted 
\y the elder Scipio's son, and thus received his 
name; so that he was, by adoption, a grand- 
son. He was, even at this time, a man of high 
consideration among all who knew him, for his 
great energy and efficiency of character, as well 
as for his sound judgment and practical good 
sense. He occupied a very singular position at 
the time of this battle, such as very few great 
commanders have ever been placed in ; for, as 
he himself was attached to a Roman army in 
Spain, having been sent merely as a military 
messenger to Numidia, he was a neutral in this 
contest, and could not, properly, take part on 
either side. He had, accordingly, only to take 
his place upon the hill, and look down upon the 
awful scene as upon a spectacle arranged for 
his special gratification. He speaks of it as if 
he were highly gratified with the opportunity 
he enjoyed, saying that only two such cases had 
ever occurred before, where a general could 
look down, in such a way, upon a great battle- 
field, and witness the whole progress of the fight, 
nimself a cool and disinterested spectator. H« 
was greatly excited by the scene and he speaks 
particularly of the appearance of the veteran 

272 Hannibal. [B.C. 148 

Negotiations for peace. Scipio madt umpire 

Masinissa, then eighty-four years old, who rode 
all day from rank to rank, on a wild and impet- 
uous charger, without a saddle, to give his orders 
to his men, and to encourage and animate them 
by his voice and his example. 

Hasdrubal retreated with his forces tc his 
camp as soon as the battle was over, and in- 
trenched himself there, while Masinissa advanc- 
ed with his army, surrounded the encampment, 
and hemmed the imprisoned fugitives in. Find- 
ing himself in extreme and imminent danger, 
Hasdrubal sent to Masinissa to open negotiations 
for peace, and he proposed that Scipio should 
act as a sort of umpire or mediator between the 
two parties, to arrange the terms. Scipio was 
not likely to be a very impartial umpire; but 
still, his interposition would afford him, as Has- 
drubal thought, some protection against any 
excessive and extreme exorbitancy on the part 
of his conqueror. The plan, however, did not 
succeed. Even Scipio's terms were found by 
Hasdrubal to be inadmissible. He required 
♦hat the Carthaginians should accord to Masi- 
nissa a certain extension of territory. Hasdru- 
bal was willing to assent to this. They were 
to pay him, also, a large sum of money. He 
agreed, also to this. They were, moreover, *o 

B.C. 14b.] Carthage Destroyed. 27^ 

Hasdrubal surrenders. Terms imposed by Maslniss* 

allow Hasdruba.'s banished opponents to return 
to Carthage. This, by putting the party op- 
posed to Hasdrubal once more into power in 
Carthage, would have been followed by his own 
fall and ruin ; he could not consent to it. He 
remained, therefore, shut up in his camp, and 
Scipio, giving up the hope of effecting an ac- 
commodation, took the elephants which had 
been provided for him, and returned across the 
Mediterranean to Spain. 

Soon after this, HasdrubaPs army, worn out 
with hunger and misery in their camp, com- 
pelled him to surrender on Masinissa's own 
terms. The men were allowed to go free, but 
most of them perished on the way to Carthage. 
Hasdrubal himself succeeded in reaching some 
place of safety, but the influence of his party 
was destroyed by the disastrous result of his 
enterprise, and his exiled enemies being recall 
ed in accordance with the treaty of surrender, 
the opposing party were immediately restored 
to power. 

Under these new councils, the first measure 
of the Carthaginians was to impeach Hasdrubal 
on a charge )f treason, for having involved his 
country in these difficulties, and the next wa? 
to send a solemn embassy to Rome, to acknowl. 

14— 16 

274 Hannibal. [B.C. 148 

Carthaginian embassy to Rome. Their mission fruitless 

edge the fault of which their nation had been 
guilty, to offer to surrender Hasdrubal into 
their hands, as trie principal author of the deed, 
tmc to ask what further satisfaction the Roman* 

In the mean time, before these messengers 
arrived, the Romans had been deliberating what 
to do. The strongest party were in favor of 
urging on the quarrel with Carthage and de- 
claring war. They had not, however, come to 
any positive decision. They received the depu- 
tation, therefore, very coolly, and made them no 
direct reply. As to the satisfaction which the 
Carthaginians ought to render to the Romans 
for having made war upon their ally contrary 
to the solemn covenants of the treaty, they said 
that that was a question for the Carthaginians 
themselves to consider. They had nothing at 
present to say upon the subject. The deputies 
returned to Carthage with this r«ply, which, of 
course, produced great uneasiness and anxiety. 

The Carthaginians were more and more de- 
sirous now to do every thing in their power to 
avert the threatened danger of Roman hostility 
They sent a new embassy to Rome, with stiL 
more humble professions than before. The em- 
bassy set sail from Carthage with very little 

RC. 148.] Carthage Destroyed. 275 

Another embassy. The Romans declare war 

hope, however, of accomplishing the object of 
their mission. They were authorized, never- 
theless, to make the most unlimited conces- 
sions, and to submit to any conditions what- 
ever to avert the calamity of another war. 

But the Romans had been furnished with a 
pretext for commencing hostilities again, and 
there was a very strong party among them now 
who were determined to avail themselves of this 
opportunity to extinguish entirely the Cartha- 
ginian power. War had, accordingly, been de- 
clared by the Roman senate very soon after the 
first embassy had returned, a fleet and army 
had been raised, and equipped, and the expedi- 
tion had sailed. When, therefore, the embassy 
arrived in Rome, they found that the war, which 
it was the object of their mission to avert, had 
been declared. 

The Romans, however, gave them audience. 
The embassadors expressed their willingness tc 
submit to any terms that the senate migl:t pro- 
pose for arresting the war. The senate replied 
that they were willing to make a treaty with 
the Carthaginians, on condition that the latter 
were to surrender themselves entirely to the 
Roman power, and bhid themselves to obey suoh 
orders as the consuls, on iieir arrival in Africa 

276 Hannibal. [B.C. 14^ 

negotiations for poace. The Romans demand hostage* 

with the army, should issue ; the Romans, on 
their part, guarantying that they should con- 
tinue in the enjoyment of their liberty, of theii 
territorial possessions, and of their laws. As 
proof, howjver, of the Carthaginian honesty of 
purpose in making the treaty, and security foi 
their future submission, they were required tc 
give up to the Roman* three hundred hostages. 
These hostages were to be young persons from 
the first families in Carthage, the sons of the 
men who were most prominent in society there, 
and whose influence might be supposed to con- 
trol the action of the nation. 

The embassadors could not but consider these 
as very onerous terms. They did not know what 
orders the consuls would give them on their ar- 
rival in Africa, and they were required to put 
the commonwealth wholly into their power. 
Besides, in the guarantee which the Romans 
offered them, their territories and their laws 
were to be protected, but nothing was said cf 
their cities, their ships, or their arms and mu- 
nitions of war. The agreement there, if execu- 
ted, would put the Carthaginian commonwealth 
wholly at the mercy of their masters, in respect 
to all those things which were in those days 
most valuable to a nation as elements of power 

B.C. 148.] Carthage Destroyed. 277 

Cruolty of the hostage system. Return of the embuudon 

Still, the embassadors had been instructed to 
make peace with the Romans on any terms, and 
they accordingly acceded to these, though with 
great reluctance. They were especially averse 
to the agreement in respect to the hostages. 

This system, which prevailed universally in 
ancient times, of having the government of one 
nation surrender the children of the most dis- 
tinguished citizens to that of another, as secu- 
rity for the fulfillment of its treaty stipulations, 
was a very cruel hardship to those who had to 
suffer the separation ; but it would seem that 
there was no other security strong enough to 
hold such lawless powers as governments were 
in those days, to their word. Stern and rough 
as the men of those warlike nations often were, 
mothers were the same then as now, and they 
suffered quite as keenly in seeing their children 
sent away from them, to pine in a foreign land, 
in hopeless exile, for many years ; in danger, too, 
continually, of the most cruel treatment, and 
even of death itself, to revenge some alleged 
governmental wrong. 

Of course, the embassadors knew, when thsy 
returned to Carthage with these terms, thM 
they w?re bringing heavy tidings. The news, 
in fact, when it came, threw the community 

278 Hannibal. [B.C. 14b 

Consternation in Carthage Its deplorable condition 

into the most extreme distress. It is said that 
the whole city was filled with cries and lamen- 
tations. The mothers, who felt that they were 
about to be bereaved, beat their breasts, and 
tore their hair, and manifested by every other 
sign their extreme and unmitigated woe. They 
begged and entreated their husbands and fathers 
not to consent to such cruel and intolerable con- 
ditions. They could not, and they would not 
give up their children. 

The husbands and the fathers, however, felt 
compelled to resist all these entreaties. They 
could not now undertake to resist the Roman 
will. Their army had been well-nigh destroy- 
ed in the battle with Masinissa ; their city was 
consequently defenseless, and the Roman flee^ 
had already reached its African port, and the 
troops were landed. There was no possible 
way, it appeared, of saving themselves and then 
city from absolute destruction, but entire sur> 
mission to the terms which their stern conquer 
ore had imposed upon them. 

The hostages were required to be sent, with- 
in thirty days, to the island of Sicily, to a port 
on the western extremity of th^ island, called 
Lilybaeum Lilybseum was the port in Sicily 
nearest to Carthage, being perhaps at a distance 

BC. 148.] Carthage Destroyed. 279 

Selecting the hostages. The Hour of parting. 

of a hundred miles across the waters of the 
Mediterranean Sea. A Roman escort was to 
oe ready to receive them there and conduct 
thorn to Rome. Although thirty days were al- 
lowed to the Carthaginians to select and send 
forward the hostages, they determined not to 
avail themselves of this offered delay, but to 
send the unhappy children forward at once, that 
they might testify to the Roman senate, by this 
their promptness, that they were very earnestly 
desirous to propitiate their favor. 

The children were accordingly designated, 
one from each of the leading families in the 
city, and three hundred in all. The reader 
must imagine the heart-rending scenes of suf- 
fering which must have desolated these three 
hundred families and homes, when the stern 
and inexorable edict came to each of them that 
one loved member of the household must be se- 
lected to go. And when, at last, the hour ar- 
rived for their departure, and they assembled 
upon the pier, the picture was one of intense 
and unmingled suffering. The poor exiles stood 
bewildered with terror and grief, about to part 
with all that they ever held dear — their parents, 
their brothers and sisters, and their native land 
—to go thev knew not whither, under the care 

Z&0 Hannibal. [B.C. 14^ 

The parting scene. Grief and deapair 

of iron -hearted soldiers, who seemed to know 
no feelings of tenderness or compassion for theii 
woes. Their disconsolate mothers wept and 
groaned aloud, clasping the loved ones who 
were about to be torn forever from them in theii 
arms, in a delirium uf maternal affection and 
irrepressible grief; their brothers and sisters, 
and their youthful friends stood by, some almost 
frantic with emotions which they did not at- 
tempt to suppress, others mute and motionless 
in their sorrow, shedding bitter tears of anguish, 
or gazing wildly on the scene with looks of de- 
spair ; while the fathers, whose stern duty il 
was to pass through this scene unmoved, walk 
ed to and fro restlessly, in deep but silent dis- 
tress, spoke in broken and incoherent words to 
one another, and finally aided, by a mixture of 
persuasion and gentle force, in drawing the 
ohildren away from their mothers' arms, and 
getting them on board the vessels which wore 
to convey them away. The vessels made sail, 
and passed off slowly from the shore. The 
mothers watched them till they could no longei 
be seen, and then returned, disconsolate and 
wretched, to their homes ; and then the grief 
and agitation of this parting scene was succeed- 
ed by the anxious suspense which eujw pervad 

B.C. I-18.] Carthage Destroyed. 281 

Advance of the Roman army. Surrender of Utica 

ed the whole city to learn what new dangers 
and indignities they were to suffer from the ap- 
proaching Roman army, which they knew must 
now be well on its way. 

The Roman army landed at Utica. Utioa 
was a large city to the north of Carthago, not 
far from it, and upon the same bay. When 
the people of Utica found that another serious 
collision was to take place between Rome and 
Carthage, they had foreseen what would prob- 
ably be the end of the contest, and they had de- 
cided that, in order to save themselves from the 
ruin which was plainly impending over the sis- 
ter city, they must abandon her to her fate, and 
make common cause with Rome. They had, 
accordingly, sent deputies to the Roman senate, 
offering to surrender Utica to their power. The 
Romans had accepted the submission, and had 
made this city, in consequence, the port of de- 
barkation for their army. 

As soon as the news arrived at Carthage 
that the Roman army had landed at Utica, fhe 
people sent deputies to inquire what were the 
orders of the consuls, for it will be recollected 
they had bound themselves by the treaty to 
obey the orders which the consuls were to bring. 
Thov found, when they arrived there, that the 

282 Hannibal. [B.C. 14S 

Demands of the Roman*. Th« Carthaginians comply 

bay was covered with the Roman shipping. 
There were fifty vessels of war, of three banks 
of oars each, and a vast number of transport*) 
besides. There was, too, in the camp upon the 
shore, a force of eighty thousand foot soldier* 
and four thousand horse, all armed and equipped 
in the most perfect manner. 

The deputies were convinced that this was a 
force which it was in vain for their countrymen 
to think of resisting. They asked, trembling, 
for the consuls' orders. The consuls informed 
them that the orders of the Roman senate were, 
first, that the Carthaginians should furnish them 
with a supply of corn for the subsistence of their 
troops. The deputies went back to Carthage 
with the demand. 

The Carthaginians resolved to comply. They 
were bound by their treaty and by the hostages 
they had given, as well as intimidated by the 
presence of the Roman foroe. They furnished 
the corn. 

The consuls, soon after this, made another 
demand of the Carthaginians. It was, that they 
should surrender to them all their vessels of 
war. They were more unwilling to comply 
with this requisition than with the other ; but 
they assented at last. They hoped that the de- 

B.C. 148.J Carthage Destroyed. 283 

die Romans demand all the munitions of war. Their great number 

mands of their enemies would stop here, and 
that, satisfied with having weakened them thus 
far, they would go away and leave them ; they 
could then build new ships again when better 
times should return. 

But the Romans were not satisfied yet. They 
sent a third order, that the Carthaginians should 
deliver up all their arms, military stores, and 
warlike machines of every kind, by sending them 
into the Roman camp. The Carthaginians were 
rendered almost desperate by this requisition. 
Many were determined that they would not 
submit to it, but would resist at all hazards. 
Others despaired of all possibility of resisting 
now, and gave up all as lost ; while the three 
hundred families from which the hostages had 
gone, trembled for the safety of the captive 
children, and urged compliance with the de- 
mand. The advocates for submission finally 
gained the day. The arms were collected, and 
carried in an immensely long train of wagons 
to the Roman camp. There were two hundred 
thousand complete suits of armor, with darts 
and javelins without number, and two thousand 
military engines for hurling beams of wood and 
stones. Thus Carthage was disarmed. 

All these demands, however unreasonable 

284 Hannibal. [B.C. 148 

Brutal demands of the Romans. Carthage to be destroyed 

and cruel as the Carthaginians deemed them, 
were only preliminary to the great final determ- 
ination, the announcement of which the con- 
suls had reserved for the end. When the arms 
had all been delivered, the consuls announced 
to their now defenseless victims that the Roman 
senate had come to the determination that Car- 
thage was to be destroyed. They gave orders, 
accordingly, that the inhabitants should all leave 
the city, which, as soon as it should be thus vacat- 
ed, was to be burned. They might take with 
them such property as they could carry ; and 
they were at liberty to build, in lieu of this their 
fortified sea-port, an inland town, not less than 
ten miles' distance from the sea, only it must 
have no walls or fortifications of any kind. As 
soon as the inhabitants were gone, Carthage, 
the consuls said, was to be destroyed. 

The announcement of this entirely unparal 
leled and intolerable requisition threw the whole 
oity into a phrensy of desperation. They could 
not, and would not submit to this. The en- 
treaties and remonstrances of the friends of the 
hostages were all silenced or overborne in the 
burst of indignation and anger which arose from 
the whole city. The gates were closed. The 
pavements of the streets were torn up, and 

6.C.148.] Carthage Destroyed. 2S5 

Desperation of the people. Preparations for defena« 

buildings demolished to obtain stones, which 
were carried up upon the ramparts to serve in- 
stead of weapons. The slaves were all liberat- 
ed, and stationed on the walls to aid in the de- 
fense. Every body that could work at a forge 
was employed in fabricating swords, spear- 
heads, pikes, and such other weapons as could 
be formed with the greatest facility and dis- 
patch. They used all the iron and brass that 
could be obtained, and then melted down vases 
and statues of the precious metals, and tipped 
their spears with an inferior pointing of silver 
and gold. In the same manner, when the sup- 
plies of flax and hempen twine for cordage for 
their bows failed, the beautiful sisters and moth- 
ers of the hostages cut off their long hair, and 
twisted and braided it into cords to be used as 
bow-strings for propelling the arrows which 
their husbands and brothers made. In a word, 
the wretched Carthaginians had been pushed 
beyond the last limit of human endurance, and 
had aroused themselves to a hopeless resistance 
in a sort of phrensy of despair. 

The reader will recollect that, after the bat- 
tle with Masinissa, Hasdrubal lost all his influ- 
ence in Carthage, and was, to all appearance, 
hopelessly ruined. He had not, however, then 

286 Hannibal. [B.C. 14* 

Hasdrabal. Destruction of the Roman flee 

given up the struggle. He had contrived to as- 
semble the remnant of his army in the neigh- 
horhood of Carthage. His forces had been grad- 
ually increasing during these transactions, as 
those who were opposed to these concessions to 
the Romans naturally gathered around him. 
He was now in his camp, not far from the city, 
at the head of twenty thousand men. Finding 
themselves in so desperate an emergency, the 
Carthaginians sent to him to come to their suc- 
cor. He very gladly obeyed the summons. He 
sent around to all the territories still subject to 
Carthage, and gathered fresh troops, and col- 
lected supplies of arms and of food. He ad- 
vanced to the relief of the city. He compelled 
the Romans, who were equally astonished at 
the resistance they met with from within the 
walls, and at this formidable onset from with- 
out, to retire a little, and intrench themselves 
in their camp, in order to secure their own safe- 
ty. He sent supplies of food into the city He 
also contrived to fit up, secretly, a great many 
fire-ships in the harbor, and, setting them in 
flames, let them drift down upon the Roman 
fleet, which was anchored in supposed security 
in the bay. The plan was so skillfully man- 
aged that the Roman ships were almost all de- 

B.C. 146.] Carthage Destroyed. 287 

Horrors of the siege. Heroic valor of the Carthaginian* 

stroyed. Thus the face of affairs was changed. 
The Romans found themselves disappointed foi 
the present of their prey. They confined them- 
selves to their encampment, and sent home to 
the Roman senate for new re-enforcements and 

In a word, the Romans found that, instead 
of having only to effect, unresisted, the simple 
destruction of a city, they were involved in what 
would, perhaps, prove a serious and a protract- 
ed war. The war did, in fact, continue for two 
or three years — a horrible war, almost of exterm 
ination, on both sides. Scipio came with the 
Roman army, at first as a subordinate officer ; 
but his bravery, his sagacity, and the success 
of some of his almost romantic exploits, soon 
made him an object of universal regard. At 
one time, a detachment of the army, which he 
succeeded in releasing from a situation of great 
peril in which they had been placed, testified 
their gratitude by platting a crown of grass, and 
placing it upon his brow with great ceremon} 
and loud acclamations. 

The Carthaginians did every thing in tha 
prosecution of this war that the most desperate 
valor could do ; but Scipio's cool, steady, and 
well-calculated plans made Irresistible progress. 

288 Hannibal. [B.C. 145 

Battering engines. Attempt to destroy them 

and hemmed them in at last, within narrower 
and narrower limits, by a steadily-increasing 
pressure, from which they found it impossible 
to break away. 

Scipio had erected a sort of mole or pier upon 
the water near the city, on which he had erect- 
ed many large and powerful engines to assault 
the walls. One night a large company of Car- 
thaginians took torches, not lighted, in their 
hands, together with some sort of apparatus for 
striking fire, and partly by wading and partly 
by swimming, they made their way through 
the water of the harbor toward these machines. 
When they were sufficiently near, they struck 
their lights and set their torches on fire. The 
Roman soldiers who had been stationed to guard 
the machines were seized with terror at seeing 
all these flashing fires burst out suddenly over 
the surface of the water, and fled in dismay. 
The Carthaginians set the abandoned engines 
on fire, and then, throwing their now useles* 
torches into the flames, plunged into the watei 
again, and swam back in safety. But all thi? 
desperate bravery did very little good. Scipu- 
quietly repaired the engines, and the siege went 
on as before. 

Rut we can not describe in detail all the par 

B.C. 145.] Carthage Destroyed. 28V 

The city stormed. A desperate struggle 

ticulars of this protracted and terrible struggle 
We must pass on to the closing scene, which 
as related by the historians of the day, is an al- 
most incredible series of horrors. After an im- 
mense number had been killed in the assaults 
which had been made upon the city, besides the 
thousands and thousands which had died of fam- 
ine, and of the exposures and hardships incident 
to such a siege, the army of Scipio succeeded 
in breaking their way through the gates, and 
gaining admission to the city. Some of the in- 
habitants were now disposed to contend no long- 
er, but to cast themselves at the mercy of the 
conqueror. Others, furious in their despair, were 
determined to fight to the last, not willing to 
give up the pleasure of killing all they could of 
their hated enemies, even to save their lives 
They fought, therefore, from street to street, 
retreating gradually as the Romans advanced, 
till they found refuge in the oitadeL One band 
of Scipio's soldiers mounted to the tops of the 
houses, the roofs being flat, and fought their 
way there, while another column advanced in 
the same manner in the streets below. No im- 
agination can conceive the uproar and din of 
such an assault upon a populous city — a horrid 
mingling of the vociferated commands of the 

290 Hannibal. [B.C. 145 

The peop.e retreat to the citadel. The city fired 

officers, and of the shouts of the advancing and 
victorious assailants, with the screams of terror 
from affrighted women and children, and dread- 
ful groans and imprecations from men dying 
maddened with unsatisfied revenge, and biting 
the dust in an agony of pain. 

The more determined of the combatants, with 
Hasdrubal at their head, took possession of the 
citadel, which was a quarter of the city situ- 
ated upon an eminence, and strongly fortified. 
Scipio advanced to the walls of this fortifica- 
tion, and set that part of the city on fire which 
lay nearest to it. The fire burned for six days, 
and opened a large area, which afforded the Ro- 
man troops room to act. When the troops were 
brought up to the area thus left vacant by the 
fire, and the people within the citadel saw that 
their condition was hopeless, there arose, as 
there always does in such cases, the desperate 
struggle within the walls whether to persist in 
resistance or to surrender in despair. There 
was an immense mass, not far from sixty thou- 
sand, half women and children, who were de- 
termined on going out to surrender themselves 
to Scipio's mercy, and beg for their lives. Has- 
drubaPs wife, leading her two children by her 
side, earnestly entreated her husband to allow 

B.C. 145.] Carthage Destroyed. 291 

HasdrabaTs wife. Hasdrubal torrendera 

her to go with them. But he refused. There 
was a hody of deserters from the Roman camp 
in the citadel, who, having no possible hope of 
escaping destruction except by desperate re- 
sistance to the last, Hasdrubal supposed would 
never yield. He committed his wife and chil- 
dren, therefore, to their charge, and these de- 
serters, seeking refuge in a great temple with- 
in the citadel, bore the frantic mother with them 
to share their fate. 

HasdrubaPs determination, however, to resist 
the Romans to the last, soon after this gave 
way, and he determined to surrender. He is 
accused of the most atrocious treachery in at- 
tempting thus to save himself, after excluding 
his wife and children from all possibility of es- 
caping destruction. But the confusion and din 
of such a scene, the suddenness and violence 
with which the events succeed each other, and 
the tumultuous and uncontrollable mental agi- 
tation to which they give rise, deprive a man 
who is called to act in it of all sense and rea- 
son, and exonerate him, almost as much, from 
moral responsibility for what he does, as if he 
were insane. At any rate, Hasdrubal, after 
shutting up his wife and children with a furi 
ous gang of desperadoes who could not possibly 

292 Hannibal. [B.C. 143 

The citadel fired. Resentment and despair of HasdrubaTs wife. 

surrender, surrendered himself, perhaps hoping 
that he might save them after all. 

The Carthaginian soldiers, following Hasdru- 
bal's example, opened the gates of the citadel, 
and let the conqueror in. The deserters were 
now made absolutely desperate by their danger, 
and some of them, more furious than the rest, 
preferring to die by their own hands rather than 
to give their hated enemies the pleasure of kill- 
ing them, set the building in which they were 
shut up in on fire. The miserable inmates ran 
to and fro, half suffocated by the smoke and 
scorched by the flames. Many of them reached 
the roof. Hasdrubal's wife and children were 
among the number. She looked down from 
this elevation, the volumes of smoke and flame 
rolling up around her, and saw her husband 
standing below with the Roman general — per- 
haps looking, in consternation, for his wife and 
children, amid this scene of horror. The sight 
of the husband and father in a position of safe- 
ty made the wife and mother perfectly furious 
with resentment and anger. " Wretch !" she 
screamed, in a voice which raised itself above 
the universal din, " is it thus you seek to save 
vour own life while you sacrifice ours ? I oan 
ant reach vou in vour own person, but I kill 

B.C. 145.] Carthaqe Destroyed. 293 

Carthage destroyed. Its present condition. 

you hereby in the persons of your children.' ; 
So saying, she stabbed her affrighted sons with 
a dagger, and hurled them down, struggling all 
the time against their insane mother's phren- 
ay, into the nearest opening from which flames 
were ascending, and then leaped in after them 
herself to share their awful doom. 

The Romans, when they had gained posses- 
sion of the city, took most effectual measures 
for its complete destruction. The inhabitants 
were soattored into the surrounding country, 
and the whole territory was converted into a 
Roman province. Some attempts were after- 
ward made to rebuild the city, and it was for a 
long time a place of some resort, as men lin- 
gered mournfully there in huts that they built 
among the ruins. It, however, was gradually 
forsaken, the stones crumbled and decayed, veg- 
etation regained possession of the soil, and now 
there is nothing whatever to mark the spot 
where the oity lay. 

War and commerce are the two great antag- 
onistic principles which struggle for the mas- 
tery of the human race, the function of the one 
being to preserve, and that of the other to de- 
stroy. Commerce causes cities to be built and 

294 Hannibal. [B.C. 145 

War and commerce. Antagonistic principle* 

fields to be cultivated, and diffuses comfort and 
plenty, and all the blessings of industry and 
peace. It carries organization and order every 
where ; it protects property and life ; it disarms 
pestilence, and it prohibits famine. War, on 
the other hand, destroys. It disorganizes the 
social state. It ruins cities, depopulates fields, 
condemns men to idleness and want, and the 
only remedy it knows for the evils which it 
brings upon man is to shorten the miseries of 
its victims by giving pestilence and famine the 
most ample commission to destroy their lives. 
Thus war is the great enemy, while commerce 
is the great friend of humanity. They are an- 
tagonistic principles, contending continually for 
the mastery among all the organizations of men. 
When Hannibal appeared upon the stage, he 
found his country engaged peacefully and pros- 
perously in exchanging the productions of the 
various countries of the then known world, and 
promoting every where the comfort and happi- 
ness of mankind. He contrived to turn all thes« 
energies into the new current of military ag- 
gression, conquest, and war. He perfectly suc- 
ceeded. We certainly have in his person and 
history all the marks and characteristics of a 
great military hero. He gained the most splen 

B.C. 145. ' Carthage Destroyed. 295 

HannibaTs greatness as a military hero. 

did viotories, devastated many lands> embarrass- 
ed and stopped the commercial intercourse which 
was carrying the comforts of life to so many 
thousand homes, and spread, instead of them, 
every where, privation, want, and terror, with 
pestilence and famine in their train. He kept 
the country of his enemies in a state of inces- 
sant anxiety, suffering, and alarm for many 
years, and overwhelmed his own native land, 
in the end, in absolute and irresistible ruin. In 
a word, he was one of the greatest military he* 
roes that the world has ever known. 

The End. 

6 2 42 7 205